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Luke Skorja, Will Gonzalez, Payton Fraser, Jazmin Rhodes – Jennifer Heim Photography


The winners of Broadway In Chicago’s 12th Annual Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards (IHSMTA) were presented in an award ceremony on May 22, 2023 sponsored by NBC 5, celebrating outstanding achievement in high school musical theatre performances at Broadway In Chicago’s Broadway Playhouse.

This year’s BEST PERFORMER IN AN ACTOR ROLE is William Gonzalez of Mundelein High School (Mundelein, IL) for his portrayal of “Usnavi” in IN THE HEIGHTS. Payton Fraser of Joliet West High School (Joliet, IL), for her portrayal of “Suzanne Prevot” in THE HELLO GIRLS, is the BEST PERFORMER IN AN ACTRESS ROLE. William and Payton will represent the State of Illinois on an all-expense paid trip to New York City to participate in The Jimmy Awards® (also known as The National High School Musical Theatre Awards®). The Jimmy Awards® are named for legendary Broadway theater owner and producer James M. Nederlander. The trip to The Jimmy Awards® will consist of a week-long theatre intensive of coaching and rehearsals with industry professionals in preparation for a one-night-only showcase on June 26, 2023.

Broadway In Chicago also announced BEST PERFORMER IN AN ACTOR ROLE RUNNER-UP, Luke Skorja of Crystal Lake South High School (Crystal Lake, IL) and BEST PERFORMER IN AN ACTRESS ROLE RUNNER-UP, Jazmin Rhodes of Homewood-Flossmoor High School (Flossmoor, IL) should either BEST PERFORMERS be unable to represent IHSMTA at the Jimmy Awards®.

Additional awards included Best Direction to Jack Micetich for Coal City High School’s production of ANASTASIA; Best Ensemble Award to Thornton Fractional North High School for ONCE ON THIS ISLAND; and Best Production Award to Maine South High School for THE ADDAMS FAMILY.

The nominees performed two musical numbers from Disney’s Aladdin during the award ceremony, taught by Broadway performer Kelly Jacobs. Marcus M. Martin, who plays “Genie” in the North American Tour of Aladdin, led a special Q&A and audition workshop and sat on the panel of judges with fellow industry professionals in the City of Chicago who selected the award recipients.

Nominees with Marcus M. Martin – Jennifer Heim Photograhy