On Monday, June 27th, ninety-two students from around the United States will convene in New York City for the opportunity of a lifetime. Chosen out of an eligible pool of nearly 140,000 students, these lucky few will get to do what so many people only dream of: perform on Broadway.
Two of those ninety-two students will be coming from the small town of Versailles, Ohio. VHS Musical Theatre students Zach Ahrens and Isabel Rawlins were recently named the 2022 nominees to represent the Miami Valley High School Theatre Awards (MVHSTA) in NYC at this year’s National High School Theatre Awards, also known as the Jimmy Awards. Both Zach and Isabel earned “Outstanding” designation in their recent roles in VHS’s production of “Beauty and the Beast.” Based upon their adjudicated scores, they were invited to a Regional Awards Program competition where they, along with other outstanding performers from the Miami Valley, were judged by area theatre professionals. At the end of this competition, one male and one female representative were chosen to go to NYC.
The Jimmy Awards began in 2009 in an effort to elevate the importance of theatrical education in schools and to reward the excellence of performers at this level. Since 2009, the organization has awarded over $4,000,000 in educational scholarships and has been a catalyst for numerous students who have gone on to perform on Broadway and beyond.
Prior to the June 27th show, the student nominees will spend a week at The Julliard School engaging in rigorous training and instruction from the industry’s top directors, performers, and agents.
Their week will culminate when they step on to the Minskoff Theatre Stage (home of Broadway’s “The Lion King”) to perform in front of family, friends, casting agents, directors, and talent scouts. At the end of evening, one Outstanding Actor and one Outstanding Actress will be named.
Zach is the son of Bob and Joyce Ahrens and will be a senior this coming Fall at Versailles. He has been involved in numerous VHS Musical Theatre and Towne and Country Players productions over the years. Isabel is the daughter of Keith and Jennifer Rawlins and will also be a senior. She has been performing with VHS Musical Theatre and T&CP since elementary school. She has also performed with The Muse Machine and Vandalia Youth Theatre organizations in recent years.
For those who are unable to cheer Zach and Isabel on in NYC, a live stream of the competition will be available that evening on Monday, June 27th at Versailles Schools in the theatre beginning at 7:30 pm. Please join us in wishing Zach and Isabel all the best as they embark on the experience of a lifetime! We are so unbelievably proud of them both and cannot wait to see them shine as they represent VHS Musical Theatre, Versailles Schools, and our community on BROADWAY! The livestream will also be posted to the Jimmy website jimmyawards.com