Local students win big at the annual Illinois High School Musical Theater Awards

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LOCAL STUDENTS WHO participated in the Illinois High School Musical Theater Awards competition leave it all on stage.

By Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J., Chicago Crusader

In celebration of outstanding achievement in high school musical theater performances, Broadway In Chicago is thrilled to announce the award recipients of the Seventh Annual Illinois High School Musical Theater Awards sponsored by NBC 5: Darian Goulding of Hampshire, IL (Hampshire High School) as Best Actor for his portrayal of The Beast in “Beauty & The Beast” and Natalie Doppelt of Deerfield, IL (Deerfield High School) as Best Actress for her portrayal of Sister Mary Robert in “Sister Act.” Darian and Natalie will represent the state of Illinois at The Jimmy® Awards (also known as The National High School Musical Theatre Awards™) in New York on June 25, 2018.

NATALIE DOPPELT OF DEERFIELD, IL, and Darian Goulding of Hampshire, IL, pose with their awards after winning as Best Actress and Best Actor in the Seventh Annual Illinois High School Musical Theater Awards. Goulding won for his portrayal of The Beast in “Beauty & The Beast, and Doppelt won for her portrayal of Sister Mary Robert in “Sister Act.”

York Community High School was awarded Best Production presented by Guardian Music Travel for their production of “Tuck Everlasting” and Crystal Lake South High School was awarded Best Scenic Design presented by SPL, celebrating excellence in scenic design, for their production of “Peter Pan.” Rebecca Marianetti was awarded the Best Direction Award for her direction of York Community High School’s production of “Tuck Everlasting.” Recently, Broadway In Chicago crafted a full day of workshops with theatre professionals for 24 nominees that culminated in a performance on stage at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place. During the day, nominees auditioned for a panel of casting agents and theater professionals who chose the recipients of performance awards.

In addition to a workshop led by “Hamilton Chicago” cast members Gabriella Sorrentino (Dance Captain/Swing) whose previous theatrical credits include “On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan” on Broadway as well as regional productions of “A Chorus Line,” “In the Heights” and “West Side Story,” and Jose Rosario Jr. (Ensemble) whose credits include “On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan” on Broadway, nominees will receive tickets to a Broadway In Chicago show. “Hamilton” currently plays at Broadway In Chicago’s CIBC Theatre (18 W. Monroe St.). Darian Goulding and Natalie Doppelt will be sent to New York City, on an all-expense paid trip, for a week-long theatre intensive of coaching and rehearsals with industry professionals in preparation for a one-night-only showcase, where they will represent the state of Illinois at The Jimmy® Awards on Broadway, on Monday, June 25, 2018. The Jimmy® Awards are named for legendary Broadway theater owner and producer James M. Nederlander. Broadway In Chicago is a Nederlander presentation, and is excited to join the network of theatres across the country participating in The Jimmy® Awards.

About the Jimmy Awards: The Jimmy® Awards/The National High School Musical Theatre Awards™ (NHSMTA) impacts more than 100,000 students who participate in high school musical theatre competitions sponsored by presenters of Touring Broadway productions throughout the United States. A Best Actress and Best Actor winner from each of these competitions is sent to New York for a week-long theatre intensive of coaching and rehearsals with industry professionals in preparation for a one night-only showcase on Broadway, where a panel of judges crowns the nation’s top performers. Named for Broadway impresario James M. Nederlander, the program has been the catalyst for more than $2,000,000 in educational scholarships. In 2012, the program inspired pre-eminent broadcaster WGBH Boston 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 Broadway. The series remains popular viewing at www.pbs.org.

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