Brandon Victor Dixon Awards

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


High schools located within a 25-mile radius of The National Theatre may apply to have their fully-staged full-length musical considered for participation in the Brandon Victor Dixon Awards.  Up to 25 schools will be invited to participate in each year’s Awards.

Judges are sent to each school to critically evaluate the performances and offer feedback that is shared with the schools at the end of the year. 

The results of the year’s evaluations are announced in the Spring and all participating schools and the recipients of the awards are celebrated at the Awards Ceremony. Each school is eligible for Awards in Outstanding Achievement in Technical Theatre, Best Musical, and Best Actress and Best Actor. 

To be considered for participation:
Schools – high school educators may fill out the Interest form below to be notified of upcoming information sessions and application deadlines.  Students cannot audition directly for the BVD Awards but must participate in an approved musical at a participating high school.

Judges – musical theatre professionals, educators and enthusiasts are invited to fill out the Application below to be considered to join the panel of judges to review these shows.


As an official Regional Awards Program, The National Theatre’s Brandon Victor Dixon Awards will feed directly into the nation-wide NHSMTA®. The top two acting award winners in Qualifying Roles from the BVD Awards season will be invited to compete at the 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.

Video: 2023 National Jimmy Awards® Week in Review

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

2023 Brandon Victor Dixon Award Winners

2023 Brandon Victor Dixon Award Winners
Photo by Sam Jaffe


Winston Churchill High School: Matilda The Musical 

Ian Rubin, a senior at Winston Churchill High School, is honored to be nominated for best actor for his performance as Miss Trunchbull in Matilda the Musical. In the fall, Ian will be attending the University of Michigan where he will be pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre. Some of his favorite credits include Young Artists of America’s Cabaret (Emcee), A Chorus Line (Mike), Into the Woods (Wolf); WCHS’ senior showcase production of The Last Five Years (Jamie), and Ovations Theatre Spring Awakening (Moritz). Ian currently studies voice with Thomas Pedersen and dances at City Dance Conservatory.

Flint Hill School: Mamma Mia!

Abby Lyons is a senior at Flint Hill High School. In addition to her role as Donna in ‘Mamma Mia’, she has been seen as Grace in ‘Radium Girls’, Miss Scarlet in ‘Clue’, and Sandrine in ‘Almost, Maine’. Abby is also a member of Flint Hill’s a cappella group the Major Minors. She will be attending the University of Michigan in the fall to pursue a Bachelor Of Fine Arts in Acting. Abby would like to thank Ms. M, Ms. P, and Mr. Venhaus for guiding her into the theatre world, and her parents for their endless support and patience for all of her theatrical endeavors.

Outstanding Achievement in Technical Theatre

Fairfax High School: Sister Act

Hayfield Secondary School: Anything Goes

South Lakes High School: Bright Star

Best Actor

Ian Rubin
Winston Churchill High School’s Matilda The Musical

Best Actress

Abby Lyons
Flint Hill School’s Mamma Mia!

Best Musical

South Lakes High School
Bright Star


The Brandon Victor Dixon Awards program is made possible, in part, by the generosity of The Jacqueline Badger Mars Next Generation Fund at The National Theatre.


  • Eligible schools must be located within a 25-mile radius of the National Theatre (1321 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004).
  • The school must produce a fully staged, full-length musical theatre production.
  • The production must be performed between October 27, 2023 and May 5, 2024.

Students cannot audition directly for the BVD Awards but must participate in an approved musical at a participating high school.

EDUCATORS & ADMINISTRATORS: Let us know that you’d like to participate by filling out the Interest Form.

  • Participation Fee Due – November 1, 2023 (regardless of performance date)
  • Final performance dates for adjudication – Sunday, May 5, 2024
  • Nominations announced – Wednesday, May 8, 2024
  • Round II Evaluations – Monday, May 13, 2023
  • Awards Ceremony – Saturday, May 18, 2024
  • Judge Evaluations sent to schools – no later than June 10, 2024

The National High School Musical Theatre Awards® (NHSMTA®), otherwise known as the Jimmy Awards®, is a celebration of student achievement in high school musical theatre across the country. Established in 2009 by Pittsburgh CLO and Nederlander Alliances, a division of The Nederlander Organization, to elevate the importance of theatre arts education in schools and reward excellence in student performance, the program now impacts over 140,000 students annually who participate in high school musical theatre competitions sponsored by over forty professional theatres throughout the US.

Since its inception, NHSMTA® has been the catalyst for more than $5,000,000 in educational scholarships awarded to deserving young performers. 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, is a Tony, Emmy, and Grammy Award nominee originally from Gaithersburg, Maryland. Dixon attended St. Alban’s College Prep School in DC. In eighth grade, he performed at the Folger Theatre and in high school, he trained in voice at Levine School of the Arts.

Following his Emmy Award nominated turn opposite John Legend as Judas in NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar, Dixon most recently starred in FOX’s RENTonFOX, Amazon’s Modern Love, 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

  • Participating schools must produce a fully-staged, full-length musical theatre production.
  • NEW THIS YEAR: Schools may submit shows that do not qualify as NHMTA Approved Musicals.  All participating schools and students will be eligible for all Brandon Victor Dixon Awards.  However, only students appearing in roles on the NHMTA Qualified Roles list may go on to the Jimmy Awards in New York. Full information about these lists may be found on the Jimmy Awards Website.
  • Participating schools submit a Performance Details Form, no later than three (3) weeks before their performance date, which provides information for the judges’ ballots. Judges evaluate the student performances, production elements, overall production.
  • All schools will receive an on-site evaluation of the production by three (3) members of the judge’s panel. The school will be expected to reserve two (2) tickets for one (1) performance per judge. The BVD Awards 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 may nominate up to two (2) roles in each gender category to be evaluated for the Best Actor and Best Actress Awards. 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.
    • For the purposes of the NHSMTA program, students evaluated in performance roles 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.
  • In addition to their scores, the judges complete comprehensive written critiques for all design and performance categories so that the schools may see what was successful and where they may be able to improve for future performances.


  • Based on the evaluations from Round I, the top ten (10) scoring performers in each acting category will receive notice of their nomination via email to the Contact Person no later than May 8, 2024.
  • These students will be invited to present one (1) musical number that highlights their strengths for a small panel of judges at the National Theatre on Monday, May 13, 2024. 


  • Based on the evaluations from Round II, the top five (5) scoring students will be invited to perform a solo from their nominated role 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


  • In addition to their scores, the judges complete comprehensive written critiques for the production as a whole so that the schools may see what was successful and where they may be able to improve for future productions.
  • Based on the scores from the judge’s evaluations of the full production, the top five (5) scoring productions will be nominated for Best Musical.
  • Each nominated production will be invited to submit one (1) five (5) – minute production number to be performed during the awards ceremony – this performance will not be evaluated.
    • The school must provide recorded music to accompany the performance if necessary. This selection is due no later than May 13, 2024. The BVD Awards reserves the right of final approval of the chosen number given program length and stage logistics. 

Outstanding Achievement in Technical Theatre

  • Schools may indicate any technical area where there was 75% or more student involvement (design, build, run, etc) and the judges will give a score for those elements.
  • The highest scoring elements will be recognized at the Awards Ceremony.
  • On May 18, 2024, the Brandon Victor Dixon Awards Ceremony will be held at the National Theatre in the style of the Tony Awards®.
  • All participating schools are invited to nominate two (2) students to perform in the Opening Number at the ceremony.
  • All participating schools are invited to attend the Awards Ceremony.
  • The top five (5) nominees for each of the Best Actress and Best Actor Awards will be invited to perform one (1) solo from their nominated role 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.
  • Schools with high scoring technical elements that involved student participation will be recognized for Outstanding Achievement in Technical Theatre.
  • 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, in June of 2024.  If the recipients of the BVD Awards did not portray a role on the NHSMTA Qualifying Roles List, an alternate will be sent.
  • 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

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2023 BEST ACTOR: Ian Rubin, Winston Churchill High School’s Matilda The Musical

2023 BEST ACTRESS: Abby Lyons, Flint Hill School’s Mamma Mia!

2023 BEST MUSICAL: South Lakes High School, Bright Star

2023 Outstanding Achievement in Technical Theatre, CHOREOGRAPHY: South Lakes High School, Bright Star

2023 Outstanding Achievement in Technical Theatre, Costumes: Fairfax High School, Sister Act

2023 Outstanding Achievement in Technical Theatre, SCENERY: Hayfield Secondary School, Anything Goes

2022 BEST ACTOR: Joshua Lemons, Oakton High School

2022 BEST ACTRESS: Eileen Parks, Bishop O’Connell High School

2022 BEST MUSICAL: Oakton High School, The Addams Family