The Roger Rees Awards for


Recognizing excellence in student performance


The Broadway Education Alliance Inc. (BEA), and Disney Theatrical Group present The Roger Rees Awards for Excellence in Student Performance to promote the importance of theatre education in the Greater New York area and provide students with educational scholarships, skills training, and career advancement.

Eligible schools that are registered for participation in the Roger Rees Awards Program and produce a licensed musical production are invited to participate in the Outstanding Performer in a Musical Award. This award recognizes the efforts of students who perform leading roles in their musical production. Winning students are bestowed the title of Best Actor and Best Actress in a Musical and the Up-and-Comer Awards (2).

BEA sponsors the student winners of the Outstanding Performer in a Musical Award at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards®, known as The Jimmy Awards®, so named to honor James M. Nederlander, theatre owner, producer, and founder of The Nederlander Organization. The NHSMTA is produced by The Broadway League Foundation. Information about the Jimmy Awards® held at the Minkoff Theatre on Broadway can be found at


All high schools located throughout the Greater New York region that have registered for participation in the Roger Rees Awards Program and present an officially licensed school edition of an NHSMTA® approved musical during the current academic year can submit up to eight (8) students for participation in the Outstanding Performer in a Musical Award.

To review the NHSMTA list of qualifying musicals and roles, CLICK HERE.

NOTE: Students submitted for the Outstanding Performer in a Musical Award will not be eligible for New Faces in Solo Performance Honors. However, students nominated for these individual awards may also be part of a group award, and/or submit in non-performance award categories.


School must be officially registered for participation in The Roger Rees Awards Program for the current season to enter students for this award. Official school representative may learn more and register their school for participation HERE. Upon completing the school registration, additional details and guidelines for participation will be sent.

Overview of Award Process

Performance Adjudicators—Each participating school is responsible for identifying and coordinating three (3) theatre professionals to see a live performance and evaluate each eligible student in the context of their school musical production. These individuals must be unbiased, independent and not affiliated with the school, the production, or members of the cast, crew, or production team. Adjudicators will be required to register with the Roger Rees Awards prior to the school production and will score performances using the guidelines and rubric provided by the Roger Rees Awards. (See below for additional Adjudicator qualifications).

Adjudication— The rubric covers a range of skills including Stage Presence, Musicianship, Characterization, and Movement.

Awards administrators will tabulate individual student scores and rank students across all schools. The 25 Actresses and 25 Actors receiving the highest scores, as well as two alternates will be named the Outstanding Performer in a Musical Nominees.

Note: All scores remain confidential. BEA can not guarantee participating schools that one or more of their students will become a nominee.

Nominee Coaching and Selection of Finalists—Award Nominees (25 Actresses & 25 Actors) are invited to participate in an in-person masterclass with experienced Broadway professionals who will coach students on their individual performance. Coaching sessions will be held in New York City. Following the intensive, the team of director/choreographers and music directors complete a second evaluation of each students’ performance. The top-ranking 6 Actresses and 6 Actors will be designated Outstanding Performer in a Musical Finalists.

Final Judging—Each of the twelve (12) Award Finalists will perform their song during the Roger Rees Awards Showcase.

A final panel of 5-7 theatre/Broadway professionals will complete the final award program rubric for each student based on the student’s performance. (Judges do not see the students’ previous performance or coaching session.) The two students with the highest total score will be designated the Best Actor and Best Actress. Two Up-and-Comer Award recipients will also be named. Judges’ scores are confidential, and their decision is final.


Adjudicators must be independent of the school and have at least one of the following qualifications:

  • A degree or professional certification in music, theater, dance, or other aspects of the performing arts.
  • Membership in one of the Broadway Industry unions or guilds, with at least 5 years of experience in the professional theater.
  • At least 5 years of experience as a teacher or teaching artist of any aspect of performing arts at the high school or college level.
  • A history of at least 5 years of experience in the field of theater arts education, audience development, and/or youth enrichment.


As the Greater New York Regional Award Program, BEA sponsors the Outstanding Performer Award Best Actor and Best Actress winners at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (aka The Jimmy Awards®). This national award is presented by The Broadway League. The annual Jimmy Awards® is held at the Minkoff Theatre on Broadway and includes pre-professional training, adjudication, and rehearsals.

To participate in the national award both students are required to attend all Jimmy Award® masterclasses, interviews, and rehearsals. If for any reason, the Best Actor or Best Actress Award winner cannot participate in all required NHSMTA program components, the winner of the Up-and-Comer Actor or Actress will represent the Roger Rees Awards at the national competition.

The Broadway League Foundation confers a wide variety of educational scholarships to participating students.


Information to enroll your school in BEA’s 2022-2023 awards and recognition program can be found HERE.


Roger Rees Awards Administrative Team