Broadway will roll out the red carpet for high school musical theater’s best on July 1, when the Fifth Annual National High School Musical Theater Awards (NHSMTA) are held at the Minskoff Theatre, current home to Disney’s The Lion King. The event will be hosted by Santino Fontana and Laura Osnes, the Tony Award-nominated stars of the Broadway musical Cinderella.
Referred to as the “Jimmy Awards” (named for Broadway producer and theater owner James M. Nederlander), these honors are awarded to student winners from 31 regional competitions. Over 50,000 high school students across the country take part in these musical theatre competitions each year.
Established in 2009, the National High School Musical Theater Awards were created to forge a connection between gifted student performers and the world of professional theater.
This autumn, the dreams of Glee-like musical theater loving teens will become a reality in the three-hour PBS documentary Broadway or Bust. The competitive reality show, which will air Sunday nights on PBS from September 9-23 at 8pm, tells the true stories of top musical theater performers at high schools across America. From a countrywide casting call of some 50,000 ambitious teenagers, the 60 most promising are plucked to travel to New York City for a week-long musical theater boot camp.
The camp is held annually, but this is the first time that its behind-the-scenes drama is captured on tape and broadcast nationwide. It all leads up to the National High School Musical Theater Awards, an event that puts the students on an actual Broadway stage, performing for a full audience and top industry names serving as judges. In addition to the opportunity to be seen by important people in the Broadway industry, the event also gives the students a chance to compete for scholarships.
Broadway or Bust will be broadcast in three one-hour segments. The first focuses on the casting call, the second zeroes in on the intense boot camp experience, and the third installment is about the awards show, which will be held at Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre (current home of The Lion King). Each episode will feature not only the competitive aspect, but also showcase the inspiring individual stories of many of these young would-be Broadway stars.
Learn more about Broadway or Bust by visiting PBS’s dedicated website for it.