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    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.


    The Jimmy Award for Best Performance by an Actress and Best Performance by an Actor is awarded annually to two grand prize winners selected from a group of student performers representing the participating professional theatres. Winners are selected by a panel of industry experts.

    The Jimmy Award is named in honor of James M. Nederlander, legendary Broadway theatre owner and producer.  James M. Nederlander or “Jimmy” as the theatrical community knew him, was the Chairman of the Nederlander Producing Company of America Inc., which recently marked its 100th anniversary, and was a producer of distinguished entertainment for more than 70 years. He produced innumerable Broadway plays and musicals, winning 11 Tony® Awards, and presented operas, ballets, concerts, and artists ranging from Nureyev to Sinatra to Billy Joel to U2. Nine of his theatres are on Broadway and the balance in Detroit, Los Angeles, San Diego, Tucson, Durham, Chicago, and London.

    Nederlander Broadway houses have hosted Wicked, Hamilton, The Lion King, An American in Paris, Honeymoon in Vegas, and Finding Neverland.

    Mr. Nederlander produced or co-produced more than 100 shows including Applause, Copenhagen, The Will Rogers Follies, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Me and My Girl, La Cage aux Folles, Nine, Noises Off, Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, Benefactors, Woman of the Year, and The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby.

    The Broadway League presented Jimmy with the Schoenfeld Vision for Arts Education Award in 2010 for establishing the National High School Musical Theatre Awards®.

    Original Founders

    Pittsburgh CLO has been a driving force behind the preservation, creation, and promotion of live musical theatre since 1946. As one of the largest regional musical theater organizations in the United States, Pittsburgh CLO is fortunate for the support of nearly 200,000 patrons each year. In addition to producing fresh new productions of Broadway classics, the not-for-profit’s mission is to develop new works and showcase new talent. The organization’s dedication to the musical theater art form extends beyond its main-stage season with the CLO Cabaret Theater, the Pittsburgh CLO Academy of Musical Theater, the Construction Center for the Arts, and the acclaimed Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater, the first of its kind in the country.

    Nederlander Alliances, LLC is a division of Nederlander Presentations, Inc. the producing arm of a family company prominent for three generations in management and operation of theaters and productions of distinguished entertainment. The Nederlander Organization owns and/or operates nine Broadway theaters and runs a notable chain of legitimate theaters around the world. Broadway productions include: The Lion King, Guys and Dolls, West Side Story, Legally Blonde, Hairspray, Rent, Wicked, The Drowsy Chaperone, Walt Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Movin’ Out, Copenhagen, The Will Rogers Follies, Me and My Girl, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Breaking the Code, La Cage aux Folles, Benefactors, Annie, Noises Off, Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, My Fat Friend, Seesaw, Applause, Whose Life Is It Anyway?, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, The Dresser, Nine, Woman of the Year and many revivals including Sweet Charity, Hello, Dolly!, Porgy and Bess and Peter Pan.