Performing on a Broadway stage in New York City is an experience most young thespians can only dream about. However, that dream is becoming reality for Starlight Theatre Blue Star Award winners Lauryn Hurley and Sam Aubuchon as they travel to the Big Apple for the 2018 Jimmy® Awards.
Hurley and Aubuchon took home honors for Outstanding Actress in a Lead Role and Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role, respectively, in Starlight’s 16th annual Blue Star Awards competition. Hurley, now an alumnus of Mill Valley High School, accepted a Blue Star Award for her role as Amalia Balash in She Loves Me, and Aubuchon, a rising senior at Blue Springs High School, accepted an award for his role as Seymour Krelborn in Little Shop of Horrors.
Winning the Blue Star Awards in May earned the two teens the opportunity to represent Starlight and Kansas City at the 10th annual National High School Musical Theatre Awards/Jimmy Awards in New York City. The Jimmy Awards celebrate outstanding student theatrical achievement, recognizing individual artistry in vocal, dance and acting performance.
The pair left Kansas City on June 18, chaperoned by Starlight education manager Andy Pierce, to join their fellow Jimmy Award nominees in New York. A record 80 participants from 40 regional programs across the United States will compete for the Jimmy Awards for Best Performance by an Actor and Actress, as well as other honors and scholarships. Winners will be selected by a panel composed of notable theatre professionals, including Tony Award®-winning producers and casting experts.
Throughout the week leading up to the Jimmy Awards ceremony, all 80 high school performers will partake in a nine-day musical theatre workshop with NYU Tisch School of the Arts’ New Studio on Broadway faculty and other theatre professionals. The week culminates with the final awards ceremony Monday, June 25, at the Minskoff Theatre.
This year’s event is hosted by Tony winner Laura Benanti, who was last seen on Broadway in Steve Martin’s Meteor Shower. Benanti has appeared in nine Broadway shows, been nominated for five Tony Awards and continues to have a flourishing television career. Recent TV appearances include “The Detour” (current series regular), “Nashville,” “Supergirl” and “The Good Wife.”
Like Hurley and Aubuchon, students qualified to compete in the national program by winning top honors at regional high school musical theatre awards competitions presented by Broadway League member performing arts centers. More than 1,500 high schools and 100,000 students participate in these annual events. Since the inception of the NHSMTA in 2009, participating students have earned more than $1 million in university and conservatory scholarships, and several have already been cast in Broadway, touring and West End productions.
The 2018 Jimmy Awards will be livestreamed via Facebook Live on Monday, June 25, at 6:30 p.m. CT / 7:30 p.m. ET.
For more information, visit http://www.JimmyAwards.com/news
Founded in 2009 by Nederlander Alliances LLC, Pittsburgh CLO, and Broadway Education Alliance, the NHSMTA’s mission is to raise the profile of musical theatre in schools, recognize dedicated teachers and inspire the next generation of performers and enthusiasts. Named in honor of James M. Nederlander, the late legendary Broadway producer and theatre owner, the Jimmy Awards are supported by many leading theatre industry organizations. Find more information at jimmyawards.com.
The Broadway League administers the program through The Broadway League Foundation, which acts as its philanthropic arm. Part of the Foundation’s mission is to enlighten and increase the public’s knowledge, appreciation and awareness of the theatrical arts.