It was just announced that stage, film, and television star Corbin Bleu, who most recently appeared on Broadway in the 2019 hit musical revival of Kiss Me, Kate, will host the 2021 National High School Musical Theatre Awards, widely known as The Jimmy Awards, in honor of legendary Broadway producer and theater owner James M. Nederlander. Founded in 2009, and presented by the Broadway League Foundation and Pittsburgh CLO, the national celebration of outstanding student achievement recognizes individual artistry in vocal, dance, and acting performance, along with dedicated teachers inspiring the next generation of performers and enthusiasts, with the mission of elevating the importance of theater-arts education in schools.
“Corbin Bleu is an awe-inspiring performer who can do it all. There’s no doubt that many of our nominees discovered musical theater though his memorable performance in the High School Musical franchise. We’re thrilled that he will be hosting this year’s Jimmy Awards show,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League. “After the challenging year that we’ve faced, arts education is more important than ever and we’re proud that The Jimmy Awards can provide an opportunity for these talented future theater professionals to shine and for fans to discover the stars of the future.”
The virtual show, which will be streamed on Thursday, July 15, at 7:30 pm, will feature an evening of ensemble and solo performances by the nation’s most talented high-school students in musical theater and will culminate with the presentation of a Best Performance by an Actress and Best Performance by an Actor award. In addition, the Inspiring Teacher Award, presented by Wells Fargo, will be given to Katelin Ruzzamenti Knight, of the Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Benjamin Pesenti, Elmont Memorial High School, Elmont, NY, who will be honored for the encouragement and inspiration that led their students to win the coveted Jimmy Award for Best Performance by an Actress and Best Performance by an Actor at the most recent past Jimmy Awards ceremony in 2019.
Student performers qualify for the national program by earning top honors at regional high-school musical-theater awards ceremonies presented by Broadway League-member performing arts centers. Each year, more than 100,000 students participate in these events. In 2021, all coaching, rehearsals, and activities will take place online for the 72 nominees from 36 regions around the US. This year, a total of 20 awards and scholarships are available to participants. The program has been the catalyst for more than $4,000,000 in educational scholarships to date, and several previous student participants have been cast in Broadway, touring, and West End productions.
For more information about the awards and nominees, go online.