National Theatre announces inaugural Brandon Victor Dixon awards for excellence in high school musical theater

The newest regional partner of 'The Jimmy Awards' (the National High School Musical Theatre Awards).

The National Theatre is excited to announce the inaugural Brandon Victor Dixon Awards for excellence in high school musical theater, the newest regional partner of the National High School Musical Theatre Awards® (NHSMTA®), also known as The Jimmy Awards®.

Brandon Victor Dixon, a Tony, Emmy, and Grammy Award nominee originally from Gaithersburg, Maryland, will lend his name to an awards ceremony for the first time with the kickoff of this program. Dixon, following his Emmy Award–nominated turn opposite John Legend as Judas in NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar, most recently starred in FOX’s RENTonFOX, and as Terry Silver on the STARZ hit POWER.

Brandon Victor Dixon

Beginning this fall, up to 25 public, private, and charter high schools located within a 25-mile radius of The National Theatre will be invited to participate by submitting their fully staged musical theater productions for consideration. These schools may nominate up to two students each in the Best Performer categories. A list of qualifying shows and roles can be found at Judging will begin in fall 2021 and continue through spring 2022, with the Brandon Victor Dixon Awards ceremony taking place at The National Theatre in spring of 2022.

As an official Regional Awards Program, The National Theatre’s Brandon Victor Dixon Awards will feed directly into the national NHSMTA® celebration. The top two winners from the 2021–2022 Brandon Victor Dixon Awards season will be invited to compete at the 2022 Jimmy Awards® in New York City. The national awards are a national celebration of outstanding student achievement, recognizing individual artistry in vocal, dance, and acting performance and elevating the importance of theater arts education in schools.

Interested schools and teachers can find more information about participating in The National Theatre’s inaugural Brandon Victor Dixon Awards season by visiting More information about the spring 2022 awards ceremony, including details on how to purchase tickets, will be provided in the coming months.

“When my colleagues and friends at The National Theatre and Nederlander reached out to me about this new chapter of their program, I was excited to become a part of it,” said Dixon. “Arts education has long been an important part of my journey, and I’m happy to be able to help shape this organization’s efforts to support the educational opportunities offered to kids in the DC area.”

“We couldn’t be more excited to work with Brandon. His passion for the arts, experiences in advocacy and producing, and his sheer level of talent are just some of the many qualities we know students will look up to,” said James L. Nederlander, president of the Nederlander Organization. “The Jimmy Awards, as they are known nationally, honor the legacy of my late father by celebrating the performers of tomorrow. It’s compelling to see that legacy continue in DC and to honor Brandon in that way as well.”


NHSMTA® is a national celebration of outstanding student achievement in high school musical theater that recognizes individual artistry in vocal, dance, and acting performance, and honors teachers and their schools’ commitment to performing arts education. NHSMTA® focuses much-needed attention on the meaningful work being done by dedicated teachers and students with wide-ranging talents on and off the stage, engages families in the activities of their children, ignites new partnerships between theaters and the schools in their area, and contributes to the development of future audiences for live performing arts in communities across America.

Since its inception, NHSMTA® has been the catalyst for more than $4,000,000 in educational scholarships awarded to deserving young performers. Also known as The Jimmy Awards®, named for Broadway impresario James M. Nederlander, this year-round program is administered by The Broadway League Foundation Inc.


A Presidential Scholar Semi-finalist and scholarship winner at the British Academy of Dramatic Acting in Oxford, Dixon is a graduate of Columbia University and a recipient of the University’s I.A.L Diamond Award for Achievement in the Arts, which is an honor he shares with Tony Kushner (Angels in America), Jeanine Tesori (Caroline, or Change) and Katori Hall (The MountaintopTina on Broadway).

Since his professional debut, originating the role of Adult Simba in The Lion King national tour (Cheetah), Dixon was nominated for a Tony Award for his role as Harpo in Broadway’s The Color Purple, a Grammy for his portrayal of Berry Gordy Jr. in Motown the Musical, and he was nominated for Olivier, Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, and AUDELCO awards for his outstanding portrayal of Haywood Patterson in Kander and Ebb’s The Scottsboro Boys.

Other credits include: ABC’s One Life to LiveLaw & Order: Criminal Intent, ABC’s The Good Wife, Netflix’s She’s Gotta Have It, Amazon’s Modern Love, and NBC’s This Is Us.

His company WalkRunFly has produced multiple works including the Tony Award–winning Hedwig and the Angry Inch starring Neil Patrick Harris. He is co-founder of The WeAre Foundation (, a nonprofit “Turning Art into Action,” and Qurator: The Movie Ratings App (available on iOS/Android). Originally from Gaithersburg, Maryland, Brandon currently resides in New York City.


Located on Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House, The National Theatre opened in 1835 and is the nation’s oldest venue still presenting touring Broadway.

Nederlander manages and programs the theater, including the Broadway at The National series. The name “Nederlander” has been synonymous with great entertainment since 1912. Led by James L. Nederlander, president, Nederlander continues the tradition of operating historic theaters, as well as producing and presenting the best in theatrical entertainment and concert events. To learn more, please visit Follow Broadway at The National at or on Twitter and Instagram (@bwaynatdc).

The National Theatre Foundation is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity responsible for the continued operation and preservation of The National Theatre. Donations to The National Theatre Foundation help fund necessary capital improvements and maintenance to preserve this historic facility. Additionally, contributions support free community and educational programming, and make possible the management of a vast, content-rich archive. To learn more, visit Follow The National Theatre Foundation at or on Twitter and Instagram (@nattheatredc).

Corbin Bleu. Photo by Allan Amato.

SEE ALSO: Corbin Bleu slated to host ‘The Jimmy Awards’ on July 15 by Deb Miller


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here