NHSMTA®, otherwise known as The National High School Musical Theatre Awards®, was established in 2009 by Pittsburgh CLO and Nederlander Alliances, a division of The Nederlander Organization, to elevate the importance of theatre arts education in schools and reward excellence in student performance. The program impacts over 140,000 students annually who participate in high school musical theatre competitions sponsored by over forty professional theatres throughout the US.
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.
Thanks to the support of its participating professional regional theatres and donors, NHSMTA continues to grow. In 2012 the program inspired PBS to produce a 3-part documentary series called “Broadway or Bust,” which follows students on a journey from their hometown competitions to their debut on a Broadway stage at the Minskoff Theatre. The series, which premiered in September 2012, was showcased in 100% of PBS’s Top 50 strategic markets and is one of their most highly rated programs. It continues to be aired on stations across the country, and along with dozens of additional online video segments, remains popular viewing around the clock and around the world at www.pbs.org.
The depth, scope, and education-centric mission of NHSMTA coupled with its extensive television and media exposure has made participating in the program an aspiration for a growing number of high schools. Based on feedback from participating theatres, school administrators are now directing both human and financial resources to improve the quality of theatre arts education in their districts. This renewed enthusiasm for the performing arts in schools is already helping to invigorate local theatres and the communities they serve.
NHSMTA week takes place annually in June in New York City. The Jimmy Awards are presented on Broadway at a Nederlander theatre.
The National High School Musical Theatre Awards® (NHSMTA) is a national celebration of outstanding student achievement in high school musical theatre 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 theatres and the schools in their area, and contributes to the development of future audiences for live performing arts in communities across America.