KANSAS CITY. MO. — Two Kansas City-area students reached the finals Thursday night of the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, also known as the Jimmy Awards.
Ava Wolesky and Justin Cooley were each chosen as one of four finalists for the Best Performance by an Actress and Best Performance by an Actor awards, respectively.
Although they didn’t win, they each will receive a $3,000 scholarship for reaching the finals.
The Jimmy Awards feature the best high school musical theatre students from across the country. Nominees are chosen by winning their regional competitions. In Ava and Justin’s cases, that was the Blue Star awards hosted by Starlight Theatre.
Typically, the Jimmy Award nominees would get to go to New York City for a week to rehearse with musical theatre professionals, before performing in the live showcase.
However, this year, the entire program was virtual. All nominees recorded their performances in their hometowns. Then, they were compiled into the final showcase. At the end of the group portion, the eight finalists were announced – four boys and four girls. Then, the finalists’ pre-recorded solo performances were played, before the judges announced the winners.
Ava, a student at Liberty North high school, performed “The Life I Never Led” from “Sister Act.” You can watch it here.
Justin, a student at Olathe East high school, performed “Time” from “Tuck Everlasting.” You can watch it here.