New York City Center To Pilot New Design Awards At The Roger Rees Awards For Excellence

New York City-- The Broadway Education Alliance (“BEA”) is pleased to announce a strategic partnership with the New York City Center Education & Community Engagement Department to introduce a scenic and costume design award that will be presented as part of The Roger Rees Awards for Excellence in Student Performance portfolio of recognitions. The 14th annual talent showcase will be held at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College, 524 West 59th Street, on Sunday, May 19, 2024. The event begins at 4:30 pm.
 
New York City Center (131 W. 55th Street) is Manhattan’s first performing arts center with the mission of making the best in theater, dance, and music accessible to all audiences. This commitment continues today through celebrated dance and musical theater series like the Fall for Dance Festival and the Tony-honored Encores! series which has celebrated American musical theater for 30 years. The alliance between BEA and City Center reflects the growing importance of proactive artist development and community outreach for the theatrical industry and the positive impact The Roger Rees Awards is having on the creation of a trackable talent pipeline into the Broadway sector.
 
“As one of New York’s premiere arts organizations welcoming all New Yorkers to experience world-class performances, we are actively involved in building an engaged teen audience by going into schools and bringing students to our shows” comments Tia Powell-Harris, City Center’s Vice President of Education & Community Engagement. “Participating in and helping to expand the impact of The Roger Rees Awards enables us to celebrate students across the greater New York City region while deepening their access to educational opportunities in the performing arts.”
 
Since 2009, The Roger Rees Awards has been produced by BEA and Disney Theatrical Group to identify and recognize outstanding student actors who have performed a leading role in an officially licensed high school musical production. Two performers receiving this honor move on to represent the Greater New York region at The Broadway League Foundation’s Jimmy Awards® (also known as the National High School Musical Theatre Awards®) on June 24 at the Minskoff Theatre. Previous Roger Rees Awards national honorees include the 2023 Best Actress-winner Lauren Marchand, 2021 Best Actor-finalist Mateo Lizcano, 2019 Best Actress-winner Ekele Ukegbu and scholarship winner Jeremy Fuentes, Andrew Barth Feldman, and 2015 Best Actress-winner Marla Louissaint. 
 
The 2023-2024 program has generated an unprecedented level of participation from schools located throughout the Greater New York region with 74 schools slated to submit students for various awards categories. The Roger Rees Awards covers 13 New York counties including the Bronx, Dutchess, Kings (Brooklyn), Nassau, New York (Manhattan), Orange, Putnam, Queens, Rockland, Suffolk, Ulster and Westchester.
 
The Roger Rees Award portfolio also includes the Harmony Helper® Choral Award sponsored by the Goren Family Foundation recognizing excellence in choral group performance, New Faces | 2024 celebrating solo performers in any arts discipline which is presented in partnership with the Casting Society of America, and the Student Journalism Award sponsored by Theaterly.
 
BroadwayWorld is the official media partner for the 14th annual Roger Rees Awards for Excellence in Student Performance which is presented with the generous support of many Broadway industry professionals and leading companies including Nancy Nagel Gibbs, Rick Elice, Douglas Denoff, Disney Theatrical Group, BroadwayHD, Broadway Plus, Music Theatre International, Theatrical Rights Worldwide, and many others.
 
In addition to recognizing the importance of theater arts education, the program celebrates the exceptional life and career-long artistic excellence of Broadway’s beloved actor/director, Roger Rees. Rees received the Olivier® and Tony® Awards for his performance in The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, and Tony nominations for Indiscretions and as co-director of Peter and the Starcatcher. Throughout his life, he was a committed educator and generous mentor to young artists. Playwright Rick Elice, Rees’ partner of over 30 years, and author of “Finding Roger,” said, “Rog would have liked this chance to educate and inspire young actors, to offer a guiding hand as so many were offered to him when he too was a kid with a dream." Rees passed away in July 2015 after a year-long battle with brain cancer. He was posthumously inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in November 2015. 

For more information about the program, visit www.rogerreesawards.com.
 
For more information about New York City Center Education & Community Engagement programs contact [email protected]
 

The Broadway Education Alliance is a New York-based 501c3 whose mission is the presentation of The Roger Rees Awards and other arts education and enrichment programs. For more information visit www.BEAlliance.org.