About The Awards

The Roger Rees Awards for Excellence in Student Performance, formerly The Gershwin Awards, was established by Camp Broadway LLC in 2011 with a mission is to promote the educational value of musical theater in schools, as well as celebrate emerging talent—on stage, backstage and off stage.

The Roger Rees Awards (RRA) will confer the 8th annual Best Actor and Best Actress Awards on two students from the Greater New York area on Saturday, May 19th at Pearl Studios in Manhattan. These two students will represent this region at The Broadway League Foundation’s National High School Musical Theatre Awards (NHSMTA) aka The Jimmy Awards, on Monday, June 25, 2018 at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway.

All public and/or private high schools located in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island and Westchester, that have presented an officially licensed production of an approved Broadway musical during the 2017-2018 academic year can participate in the program.

For a comprehensive list of NHSMTA approved productions, CLICK HERE.

In accordance with the nomination guidelines established by the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, a team of 3 industry professionals per school will adjudicate the performances of all students in eligible roles in the selected productions. Based on the results of this process, the top 50 students (25 men and 25 women) from across the region will be invited to participate in the Roger Rees Awards event.

These students will participate in a full-day enrichment program that includes a group Master Class and individual coaching sessions with experienced Broadway professionals.  The coaches will select 12 students (6 men and 6 women) to perform solos for a panel of industry professionals serving as judges.  These judges will select the Roger Rees Award winners for Best Actor and Best Actress, as well as the Up & Comer Award winners.

The Best Actor and Best Actress winners will continue on to represent the Greater New York metro area at the Jimmy Awards which will take place at the Minskoff Theatre on Monday, June 25, 2018, following an all-expenses paid 9-day musical theatre intensive held at New York University Tisch School of the Arts Studio on Broadway.

Past Winners of the Roger Rees Awards are:

  • 2017: Dean Klebonas & Maddie Rubin
  • 2016: Zander Pacella & Sarafina Morency

Past Winners of the Gershwin Awards are:

  • 2015: Ryan Koerber & Marla Louissaint
  • 2014: Steven Telsey & Sarah Liddy
  • 2013: Harold Theurer & Halle Mastrobernardino
  • 2012: Joshua Schwartz & Kyra Leeds
  • 2011: Kevin Crowley & Emily Loewus

The New York area program was re-named to honor the legacy of Roger Rees.

The Roger Rees Awards are presented by the Broadway Education Alliance, Disney Theatrical Productions, Camp Broadway LLC.  They are supported by a wide variety of industry professionals and organizations.

For more information on The National High School Musical Theatre Awards, also known as The Jimmy Awards, visit NHSMTA.com.