Brandon Victor Dixon Awards

The National Theatre is excited to announce the inaugural Brandon Victor Dixon Awards for excellence in high school musical theatre, the newest regional partner of the National High School Musical Theatre Awards® (NHSMTA®), also known as The Jimmy Awards®.

Our awards program is named in honor of Brandon Victor Dixon, a Tony, Emmy, and Grammy Award nominee originally from Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Up to 25 public, private, and charter high schools located within a 25 mile radius of The National Theatre will be invited to participate by submitting their fully-staged musical theatre productions for consideration. These schools may nominate up to two students each in the Best Performer categories.

As an official Regional Awards Program, The National Theatre’s Brandon Victor Dixon Awards will feed directly into the national NHSMTA® celebration, the Jimmy Awards. The top two winners from the 2021-2022 BVD Awards season will be invited to compete at the 2022 Jimmy Awards® in New York City. The national awards are a celebration of outstanding student achievement, recognizing individual artistry in vocal, dance, and acting performance and elevating the importance of theatre arts education in schools.

Meet the 2022 Brandon Victor Dixon Awards Winners

BEST ACTOR: Joshua Lemons, Oakton High School

REGIONAL: Jack Kelly in Newsies (Fairfax Academy), Edward Bloom in Big Fish (The Theatre Lab), Caterpillar in Alix in Wonderland (The Theatre Lab), Romeo in Newsies (The Theatre Lab); Featured Dancer in Spamalot (The Theatre Lab); Crutchie in Newsies (Not Just Dance). OAKTON HIGH SCHOOL: Edward Ratchett and Col. Arbuthnot in Murder on the Orient Express; Frank, Sr. in Catch Me if You Can (Cappies Nominated, Best Musical); FILM: Winter Break, Here’s the Deal, Love/Sick; TV: Happy Birthday, Mrs. Rosa Parks. Josh will be joining The University of Arizona’s BFA in Musical Theatre program in the fall.

BEST ACTRESS: Eileen Parks, Bishop O’Connell High School

Eileen Parks is so honored to have been nominated and is so proud of her amazing Little Women cast and crew. Previous roles include Anne Frank (Diary of Anne Frank), Natalie (Next to Normal), and Lady of the Lake (Spamalot). She would like to thank her vocal coach, Erin Gardiner, as well as her director, Gretchen Midgley, for all of their love and support.

Best Musical

Oakton High School, The Addams Family


Video: 2019 National Jimmy Awards® recap

Questions? Please start by visiting our LEARN MORE section below. Other inquiries can be directed to


HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS: Students cannot audition directly for the Jimmy Awards. In order to be a Nominee at the Jimmy Awards, students must first win their Regional Awards Program (RAP) competition. In compliance with the Rules and Regulations of the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, each RAP awards one Best Actor and one Best Actress based on his/her performance of a Qualifying Role in an Approved Musical in a full-length high school production that took place during the school year. These two winners are then invited to compete at the Jimmy Awards. Please see instructions below for high school teachers regarding involvement in the Jimmy Awards. Learn more.

PARENTS: Due to the anticipated high volume of inquiries, we are unable to respond to individual participation requests from parents of interested students.

EDUCATORS & ADMINISTRATORS: To express interest in participating in the 21/22 Brandon Victor Dixon Awards season, please fill out our interest form. Please note: Your school must be located within a 25 mile radius of The National Theatre (1321 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004) to be eligible for our regional program. In the meantime, please visit the Jimmy Awards website to see a list of qualifying shows and roles, so that you can plan your season.

NHSMTA® is a national celebration of outstanding student achievement in high school musical theatre that recognizes individual artistry in vocal, dance, and acting performance, and honors teachers and their schools’ commitment to performing arts education. NHSMTA® focuses much needed attention on the meaningful work being done by dedicated teachers and students with wide ranging talents on and off the stage, engages families in the activities of their children, ignites new partnerships between theatres and the schools in their area, and contributes to the development of future audiences for live performing arts in communities across America.

Since its inception, NHSMTA® has been the catalyst for more than $4,000,000 in educational scholarships awarded to deserving young performers. Also known as The Jimmy Awards®, named for Broadway impresario James M. Nederlander, this year-round program is administered by The Broadway League Foundation Inc.

Learn more about NHSMTA® at

Brandon Victor Dixon, a Tony, Emmy, and Grammy Award nominee originally from Gaithersburg, Maryland, will lend his name to an awards ceremony for the first time with the kickoff of this program. Dixon, following his Emmy Award nominated turn opposite John Legend as Judas in NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar, most recently starred in FOX’s RENTonFOX, and as Terry Silver on the STARZ hit POWER.

A Presidential Scholar Semi-finalist and scholarship winner at the British Academy of Dramatic Acting in Oxford, Dixon is a graduate of Columbia University and a recipient of the University’s I.A.L Diamond Award for Achievement in the Arts which is an honor he shares with Tony Kushner (Angels in America), Jeanine Tesori (Caroline, or Change) and Katori Hall (Mountaintop, TINA on Broadway).

Since his professional debut, originating the role of Adult Simba in The Lion King national tour (Cheetah), Dixon was nominated for a Tony Award for his role as Harpo in Broadway’s The Color Purple, a Grammy for his portrayal of Berry Gordy Jr. in Motown The Musical, and he was nominated for Olivier, Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, and AUDELCO awards for his outstanding portrayal of Haywood Patterson in Kander and Ebb’s The Scottsboro Boys.

Other credits include: ABC’s One Life To Live, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, ABC’s The Good Wife, and NETFLIX’s “She’s Gotta Have It”. AMAZON’S Modern Love, and NBC’s This Is Us.

His company WalkRunFly has produced multiple works including the Tony Award winning Hedwig and the Angry Inch starring Neil Patrick Harris. He is co-founder of The WeAre Foundation (, a non-profit “Turning Art into Action,” and Qurator: The Movie Ratings App (available on iOS/Android). Originally from Gaithersburg, Maryland, Brandon currently resides in New York City.

Learn more at

  • Participation Fee of $200 due – no later than 1 week before your performance date
  • Performance Details Form due – no later than 3 weeks before performance date
  • Nominations announced – May 11, 2022
  • Best Musical Nominee performance selection & music due – May 16, 2022
  • Round II – contrasting piece performance – May 21, 2022
  • Awards Ceremony – May 22, 2022
  • Judge Evaluations sent to schools – no later than June 1, 2022

  • All productions to be evaluated must be on the NHSMTA Approved Musicals and Qualifying Roles List.  Full information about this list may be found on the Jimmy Awards website.
  • All schools will receive an on-site production evaluation by three (3) members of the judges’ panel. After the on-site visits, these designated judges will complete comprehensive written critiques and scores of the productions.
  • For the purposes of the NHSMTA program, students are adjudicated in the category corresponding to their gender identification, not the gender of the role that they played. Students identifying as non-binary or gender-fluid may choose to either select the category in which they wish to be adjudicated (regardless of the gender of the role) OR they may be adjudicated based on the gender of the role they played. All casting or script change requests for performances in the NHSMTA program must be approved beforehand.
  • Each production will be attended by a minimum of three (3) judges. The judges will evaluate production elements (scenic, lighting, costume, sound designs; direction, music direction, choreography) as well as performances but the only categories eligible for awards are Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Musical. 
  • The school will be expected to reserve two (2) tickets per judge for one (1) performance.  The school contact will submit the Performance Details Form to the National Theatre by February 7, 2022 which will inform the judges and evaluation process.
    • The National Theatre will alert the school of the dates and times of the performances to be evaluated by each judge no later than one (1) week before the performance.

Best Actress and Actor Awards


  • The school will submit the names of the performers to be evaluated for the Best Actor and Best Actress categories. If a show is double-cast, all nominees must be in the same cast. The school chooses the cast that will be judged and only presents dates of that cast’s performance as eligible for judging.


  • Based on the evaluations from Round I, the top ten (10) scoring performers in each category and the top five (5) musicals will receive notice of their nomination via email to the Contact Person no later than May 10, 2022.
  • The top ten (10) students nominated in each of the Best Actor and Best Actress categories will be invited to present a contrasting musical number for a small panel of judges on May 21, 2022, the weekend of the Awards Ceremony. 


  • Based on the evaluations from Round II, the top five (5) scoring students will be invited to perform one of the songs (solo or duet only) they performed in their school’s musical during the Award’s Ceremony.
  • A panel of judges will review that performance and submit scores, which will be added to the scores received from Round I and Round II, and the highest overall scoring performers will receive the Brandon Victor Dixon Awards for Best Actor and Best Actress.

Best Musical Award

  • Based on the scores from the judge’s evaluations of the full production, the top five (5) scoring candidates for Best Musical will be invited to submit one (1) FIVE (5) – MINUTE production number to be performed and evaluated during the awards ceremony. The school must provide recorded music to accompany the performance if necessary. This selection is due no later than May 13, 2022.The National Theatre reserves the right of final approval of the chosen number given program length and stage logistics. 

A panel of judges will review the Awards Night performance and submit scores that will be added to the scores received from the initial judge’s evaluation, and the highest overall scoring performance will receive the Brandon Victor Dixon Award for Best Musical.

  • On May 22, 2022, the Brandon Victor Dixon Awards Ceremony will be held at the National Theatre in the style of the Tony Awards®.
  • All participating schools will be invited to attend the Awards Ceremony.
  • The top five (5) nominees for Best Actor will be invited to perform one (1) of the songs (solo or duet only) they performed in their school’s musical during the Awards Ceremony.
  • The top five (5) nominees for Best Actress will be invited to perform one (1) of the songs (solo or duet only) they performed in their school’s musical during the Awards Ceremony.
  • The five (5) nominated schools for Best Musical will be invited to perform one (1) Five (5) – Minute production number from their musical during the Awards Ceremony.
  • The recipients of the Brandon Victor Dixon Awards for Best Actor and Best Actress will be the Jimmy Awards Nominees, representing all participating schools in the DC Area and are invited to attend the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (NSHMTA) week in New York City, tentatively scheduled for Saturday, June 18 – Tuesday, June 28, 2022.
  • Full information about nominations for the Jimmy Awards can be found on their website.

All participants in the Brandon Victor Dixon Awards process understand and agree to all possible videotaping, photos, press interviews, and print advertising.

Located on Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House, The National Theatre opened in 1835 and is the nation’s oldest venue still presenting touring Broadway.

Nederlander manages and programs the theatre, including the Broadway at The National series. The name “Nederlander” has been synonymous with great entertainment since 1912. Led by James L. Nederlander, President, Nederlander continues the tradition of operating historic theatres, as well as producing and presenting the best in theatrical entertainment and concert events. To learn more, please visit

The National Theatre Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity responsible for the continued operation and preservation of The National Theatre. Established in 1835, The National Theatre is the oldest continuously operating business on Pennsylvania Avenue and home to over 6,000 productions. Donations to The National Theatre are used to make necessary capital improvements to this historic facility, provide free community programming, support archival records, and to maintain oversight of operations of the theatre. The Board and staff serve as stewards in service to the goals of The National Theatre Foundation.