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2022 Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards Nominees Announced

Broadway In Chicago is thrillified to announce the 24 nominees for the 2022 Broadway In Chicago Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards (IHSMTA), which celebrates excellence in high school theatre throughout the State of Illinois and is the regional program that feeds into the National High School Musical Theatre Awards also known as The Jimmy Awards®.


From Benet Academy: Madeline (Dee) Pace
From Coal City High School: Chloe Peacock
From Deerfield High School: Juliet Simon
From East Leyden High School: Athiana Moran
From James B. Conant High School: Emma Schuth
From Lane Tech High School: Charlotte Weissman
From Maroa-Forsyth High School: Katelyn Beller
From Prairie Ridge High School: Claire Jansen
From Prairie Ridge High School: Abby Malina
From Romeoville High School: Tiara Green
From Wheaton North High School: Isabella Diaz
From York Community High School: Regan Wright


From Barrington High School: Josh Fermin
From Cary-Grove High School: Nicholas Ancheta
From Coal City High School: Derek Carlson
From Coal City High School: Aiden Kostbade
From East Leyden High School: Joel Arreola
From Harry D. Jacobs High School: Jesse Iroanyah
From Harry D. Jacobs High School: Alex Quast
From Lincoln-Way East High School: Joseph Kotze
From Mother McAuley high School: Aidan Edwards
From Mundelein High School: William Gonzalez
From Oak Park & River Forest High School: Joshua Bonds
From York Community High School: Owen Espinosa

The nominees (24 high school performers) selected from over 200 student applicants from 76 participating schools across the state of Illinois have been invited to participate in the Awards program, which will be held at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place (175 E. Chestnut) on Monday, May 23, 2022, at 6:30 PM, hosted by Program Sponsor NBC 5’s entertainment reporter LeeAnn Trotter. Additionally the ceremony will feature a student group number number and Broadway workshop supported by WICKED. The students are taught the music number and are staged by a show representative and given the experience to work with a Broadway professional on a Broadway stage. Additionally, the show representative sits on the panel of judges made up of industry professionals in the city of Chicago to adjudicate and select the top 6 finalists along with Best Actor and Best Actress.

The 2022 program will be in person on the Broadway Playhouse stage for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic lead to 2 years of virtual events. This year, from the twenty-four nominees, two Illinois award recipients (one Best Actor, one Best Actress) will go on an all-expense-paid trip to New York City to represent the State of Illinois at The Jimmy Awards® and participate in a week-long theatre intensive of coaching and rehearsals with industry professionals in preparation for a one-night-only showcase on Broadway, where a panel of judges crowns the nation’s top performers. The Jimmy Awards® are named for legendary Broadway theater owner and producer James M. Nederlander. Broadway In Chicago is a Nederlander presentation and is excited to be a part of the network of theatres across the country participating in The Jimmy Awards®.

The Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards have proven to be a stepping stone for young performers, with several appearing in Broadway productions. Nathan Salstone (2012 IHSMTA Best Actor) made his Broadway debut in HARRY POTTER & THE CURSED CHILD and recently appeared in the National Tour of HADESTOWN, John Clay III (2013 IHSMTA Best Actor) made his Broadway debut in CHOIR BOY. Jack Cahill-Lemme (2016 Best Actor) is currently in the North American tour of MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL which premiered in Chicago in March 2022. Additionally, Wren Rivera (2017 IHSMTA Nominee) made their Broadway debut in JAGGED LITTLE PILL, and Joy Woods (2018 IHSMTA Finalist) made her Broadway debut in March 2022, joining the Broadway cast of SIX.

Other Illinois winners have also been successful at The Jimmy Awards®: Jonah Rawitz (2014 IHSMTA Best Actor) was awarded the 2014 Jimmy Award® for Best Performance by an Actor, Cecilia Trippiedi (2016 IHSMTA Best Actress) was awarded the 2016 Jimmy Award® for Best Dancer, Darian Goulding (2018 IHSMTA Best Actor) was a 2018 Jimmy Award® finalist, and Jacob Simon (2019 IHSMTA Best Actor) was the recipient of the 2019 Rising Star Award from The Jimmy Awards®.

The 76 participating high schools involved in the program are given opportunities to see Broadway In Chicago shows and receive invitations to special events throughout the year. In years past, students performed with the casts of DEAR EVAN HANSEN and HAMILTON at Broadway In Chicago’s Summer Concert at Millennium Park, and performed with HAMILTON Chicago Company’s Miguel Cervantes (Alexander Hamilton) at the Illinois Bicentennial Birthday Party at Navy Pier. Most recently students performed at Sunday’s On State, the Chicago Loop Alliance activation inviting people back to the loop after the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information on The Jimmy Awards®, also known as the National High School Musical Theatre Awards®, visit For more information on both awards and complete rules and regulations, visit

The Jimmy Awards®/The National High School Musical Theatre Awards® (NHSMTA®) program impacts more than 140,000 students who participate in 46 regional high school musical theatre competitions sponsored by presenters of touring Broadway productions throughout the United States. Named for Broadway impresario James M. Nederlander, the program has been the catalyst for more than $5,000,000 in educational scholarships. Presented by The Broadway League Foundation, the NHSMTA invites one Best Actress and one Best Actor nominee from each local regional ceremony to New York City for a week-long theatre intensive that includes coaching, training, and rehearsing led by some of Broadway’s most accomplished professionals. Nominees will spend one week in New York City from Monday, June 20, 2022, through Tuesday, June 28, 2022, and their combined efforts throughout the week will lead to one extraordinary talent showcase performed live in front of an audience on a Broadway stage. The thirteenth annual Jimmy Awards will take place on Monday, June 27, 2022, at the Minskoff Theatre. For more information, please visit



WICKED, the Broadway sensation, looks at what happened in the Land of Oz…but from a different angle. Long before Dorothy arrives, there is another young woman, born with emerald-green skin—smart, fiery, misunderstood, and possessing an extraordinary talent. When she meets a bubbly blonde who is exceptionally popular, their initial rivalry turns into the unlikeliest of friendships…until the world decides to call one “good,” and the other one “wicked.”

From the first electrifying note to the final breathtaking moment, WICKED —the untold true story of the Witches of Oz—transfixes audiences with its wildly inventive story that USA Today cheers is “a complete triumph! An original musical that will make you laugh, cry, and think.”

Single tickets will go on sale on May 23, 2022. However, you can purchase group tickets now by visiting or using offer code GLINDA to unlock seats before they go on sale to the public.

About NBC 5 Chicago

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About Sound, Production & Lighting (SPL)

SPL is a full-service event production and system installation company. We provide production services for corporate meetings, galas and fundraising parties, marketing activations, and anything between – we’re always up for a challenge. We offer permanent installation services for a variety of venues in fields such as live performance, education, worship, and hospitality. Our goal for any project is to provide an unparalleled experience and service.

About Jennifer Heim Photography

​Jennifer Heim Photography specializes in live stage, rehearsal and headshot photography. Having shot over 900 productions and countless headshots, Jennifer is able to capture the emotion of a scene and create images that portray character depth and beautiful lighting design. Being a director and choreographer, she can anticipate blocking and movement to capture the best moments of your production for IHSMTA submissions. You want your students to stand out in their college auditions. Jennifer teaches them how to be in front of the camera to perfectly capture their personality for college auditions.


Broadway In Chicago was created in July 2000 and, over the past 22 years, has grown to be one of the largest commercial touring homes in the country. A Nederlander Presentation, Broadway In Chicago lights up the Chicago Theater District entertaining more than 1.7 million people annually in five theatres. Broadway In Chicago presents a full range of entertainment, including musicals and plays, on the stages of five of the finest theatres in Chicago’s Loop, including the Cadillac Palace Theatre, CIBC Theatre, James M. Nederlander Theatre, and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place and presenting Broadway shows at the Auditorium Theatre.