With Passion and Heart, High Schoolers from Around the U.S. Prepare for the 2013 Jimmy Awards

By Michael Gioia
27 Jun 2013

Halle Mastroberardino
The hard work from the 62 young artists has all led them to New York City, where they have the opportunity to make friends amongst their Jimmy Awards cast and the chance to work in a professional environment.

"I'm really excited to meet kids from all over the place and just see the talent that is in other areas," said Halle Mastroberardino, who represents the Gershwin Awards for her performance as Polly Baker in Crazy for You at Harrison High School in New York. "I'm so excited [about the awards ceremony]. It's so crazy. I won't believe it until it happens!"

It all happens July 1 at the Minskoff Theatre, where 2013 Tony Award nominees and Cinderella co-stars Laura Osnes and Santino Fontana will host.

"There's great work being done in high schools all across this country," said director Kaplan, who is the executive producer of the Pittsburgh CLO (the co-founder of the Jimmys) and the president of the National High School Musical Theater Awards. "What the Jimmys does is focus attention on [the students' work in their high school theatre programs] and elevates it to a level to where kids have an opportunity to come to New York and learn, mix with professionals and get their Broadway debut."

"They're exceptional," he added about this year's Jimmy constants. "They really are… This is the best of the best."

Playbill.com will continue to blog from the Jimmy Awards events in anticipation of this year's ceremony.

(Playbill.com staff writer Michael Gioia's work appears in the news, feature and video sections of Playbill.com. Follow him on Twitter at @PlaybillMichael.)