Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards Archives

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Now in its 13th year, the Broadway In Chicago Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards (IHSMTA) celebrates excellence in Musical Theatre throughout the state of Illinois. From all student applicants, twenty-four nominees (12 Best Performer in an Actor Role and 12 Best Performer in an Actress Role nominees) are invited to downtown Chicago for a day of coaching with a Broadway professional, to perform on stage at the Broadway Playhouse, and attend a Broadway In Chicago show. Two winners are selected to compete in the national program, the Jimmy Awards®. For more info on the Jimmy Awards®, please click here. In past years, nominees have worked with incredible Broadway talent including Kelly Jacobs (Disney’s Aladdin), Ben Susak (Wicked), Christophe Caballero (Chicago The Musical) Gabriella Sorrentino and Jose Rosario Jr (Hamilton) Jonathan Weir (Disney’s Aladdin), Kerstin Anderson (The Sound of Music), Brad Musgrove (Pippin), and Nick Cosgrove (Jersey Boys). The students compete for top honors in front of Chicago casting agents and theater professionals.


  • Over the past 13 years of our program, 194 schools throughout the state participated
    34 counties represented throughout the state of Illinois
  • In 2019 Jacob Simon (Deerfield, IL) was honored with the Rising Star Award from The Jimmy Awards®
  • In 2018, Darian Goulding (Hampshire, Illinois) was one of the Top 4 Best Actor Finalists for the Jimmy® Award for Best Performance by an Actor
  • In 2017, Broadway In Chicago’s IHSMTA impacted over 6,000 students across the state
  • In 2016, Cecilia Trippiedi (Orland Park, Illinois) was honored with the Jimmy® Award for Best Dancer
  • In 2014, Jonah Rawitz (Buffalo Grove, Illinois), was the recipient of the highest honor- the Jimmy® Award winner for Best Performance by an Actor

“I love the Illinois High School Music Theatre Awards because it gives teens an opportunity to express what we love to do- musical theatre. Meeting all of these kind individuals and getting the opportunity to sing with them has been fantastic. Thank you to the IHSMTA program, Broadway In Chicago for sponsoring this great outlet for students to do musical theatre.”

– Jordan Radis, 2017 Best Actor Finalist, Adlai E Stevenson High School

“Words cannot express how much today has impacted my life and career. I am honored to have been a part of this amazingly talented group of people. Thank you IHSMTA for this amazing opportunity!”

– Brax Melvin, 2017 IHSMTA Best Actor Nominee, Frankfort Community High School

“IHSMTA gives us inspiration and gives our students tools and experiences to take them to the next level. It’s really great for them to have this experience where they get to work with professionals and their peers and it really elevates what they do when they come back to us.”

– Brian Wand, 2017 Best Direction Award Recipient, Benet Academy

“My favorite part of the entire IHSTMA experience was getting to meet all of the talented teens from across Illinois.”

– Grace Etzkorn, 2015 IHSMTA Best Actress, Benet Academy

“The most exciting thing about being part of the program is the opportunity to push myself out of the comfort zone of my small town and share my talent with other people who appreciate the arts as much as I do.”

– Katie Frye, 2014 IHSMTA Best Actress Nominee, Delavan High School

“This program has given me amazing friends, as well as the opportunity to network with and learn from industry professionals.”

– Ben Love, 2015 IHSMTA Best Actor, Byron High School