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®.

Our awards program is named in honor of Brandon Victor Dixon, a Tony, Emmy, and Grammy Award nominee originally from Gaithersburg, Maryland. Learn more about him in the section below.

Applications are now open! Apply by September 30, 2022.


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 be considered for the award of Best Musical and may nominate up to two students each in the Best Performer categories.

To be considered for participation, high school educators may fill out the Interest Form below.  Students cannot audition directly for the BVD Awards but must participate in an approved musical at a participating high school.

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 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: 2022 National Jimmy Awards® Week in Review

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

BVDA Open House 2022/23 Slide Show

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



  • 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 qualify as a National High School Musical Theatre Awards Approved Musical as outlined here.
  • The production must be performed between October 15, 2022 and May 7, 2023.

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

EDUCATORS & ADMINISTRATORS: To apply to participe in the 22/23 Brandon Victor Dixon Awards season, please fill out our application form.

  • Application Form due – September 30, 2022
  • Performance Details Form due – no later than 3 weeks before performance date
  • Participation Fee of $200 due – October 31, 2022
  • Final performance dates for adjudication – May 7, 2023
  • Nominations announced – May 12, 2023
  • Round II – contrasting piece performance – May 22, 2023
  • Awards Ceremony – June 3, 2023
  • Judge Evaluations sent to schools – no later than July 10, 2023

NHSMTA®- also known as the Jimmy Awards – 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

  • 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. All categories will be evaluated (design, performance, overall) but scores will only be assigned to the categories for which awards will be given: Best Musical, Best Actor, Best Actress.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • The school contact will submit the Performance Details Form, which will inform the judges and evaluation process, no later than 3 weeks before their performance date.

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 acting category will receive notice of their nomination via email to the Contact Person no later than May 12, 2023.
  • 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 22, 2023. 


  • 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, the top five (5) scoring Best Musical productions 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 28, 2023. The BVD Awards reserves the right of final approval of the chosen number given program length and stage logistics. 
  • A panel of judges will review the Awards Ceremony performances and submit scores that will be added to the scores received from the initial judge’s evaluation. The highest overall scoring performance will receive the Brandon Victor Dixon Award for Best Musical.
  • On June 3, 2023, 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) 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, in June of 2023.
  • 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.

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