(New York, NY – Monday, May 20, 2024). Bonnie Milligan, Tony® Award-winner for her role in Kimberly Akimbo, hosted the 14th annual Roger Rees Awards for Excellence in Student Performance last night at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College in Manhattan. The event featured 50 nominees for Outstanding Performer who had been selected out of nearly 400 student actors who performed in a qualifying role in an officially licensed high school production presented during the 2023-2024 academic year. This year’s nominees represented 70 high schools across 13 counties including the Bronx, Dutchess, Kings (Brooklyn), Nassau, New York (Manhattan), Orange, Putnam, Queens, Rockland, Suffolk, Ulster and Westchester.

The showcase opened with “It’s Only a Matter of Time” from Broadway’s Back to the Future, choreographed by program Artistic Director, Theo Lencicki, and accompanied by W.T. Clarke High School’s Pit Orchestra, winner of the inaugural New York City Center High School Orchestra Award, under the direction of Rick Hip-Flores (Bad CinderellaAin’t Too Proud). Twelve finalists performed a solo from their musical for a panel of Broadway luminaries that included Erich Bergen (actor/singer); Kiara Brown Clark (Teaching Artist, Disney Theatrical Group); Jenny Gersten (VP and producer of musical theater at New York City Center); Baayork Lee, (actress, director/choreographer), Merri Sugarman (casting director, Tara Rubin Casting); Tom Viertel (Tony Award®-winning producer/executive producer of Back to the Future). 

Rick Elice, (Tony® Award nominee Water for Elephants) announced the winners who will represent the Greater New York region at The Broadway League Foundation’s The Jimmy Awards® (also known as the National High School Musical Theatre Awards®) on June 24th at the Minskoff Theatre.  

The Outstanding Performer Winners are—

Ashlee Fucarino, Wantagh High School (Nassau), for her role of Lucy in Jekyll & Hyde

Isaiah Baston, Bay Shore Senior High School (Suffolk), for his role of Father in Children of Eden

Emerging Artist Winners are—

Rosabella Procario-Soler, Professional Performing Arts School (Manhattan), for her role of Alice Beane in Titanic

Anthony LerroWantagh High School (Nassau), for his role of Jekyll and Hyde in Jekyll & Hyde

 The Royal Crown Players from Rosyln High School (under the direction of Christina Cinnamo), winners of the Harmony Helper® Outstanding Choral Performance Award presented by the Goren Family Foundation, also performed for the sold-out audience.

The Roger Rees Awards for Excellence in Student Performance is produced by the Broadway Education Alliance and sponsored by Disney Theatricals with support from Theatrical Rights Worldwide, Back to the Future on Broadway, Broadway HD, Broadway Inbound, Broadway Plus, Rich Elice, Nancy Nagel Gibbs, Goren Family Foundation, Music Theatre International, Withum, and many other industry leaders working in/around Broadway.

The Roger Rees Awards recognize the importance of theatre arts education and celebrate the exceptional life and career-long artistic excellence of Broadway’s beloved actor/director, Roger Rees. 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.”

For more information visit www.rogerreesawards.com.