News Go behind the scenes with Omaha Performing Arts

Nebraska Jimmy Award Nominees Continue Their Broadway Journey

Posted On Jul 8, 2021, 08:20 AM by Sarah Kosch

Each year the Nebraska High School Theater Academy — a regional arm of the Broadway League’s Jimmy Awards®/National High School Musical Theatre Awards program led by Omaha Performing Arts — sends one actress and one actor to New York City (or in this year’s case, the virtual equivalent). On July 1, 2021, Omaha Burke High School graduate Audrey Saucier and Blair High School graduate Nathan Hiykel wrapped up twelve days of private coaching, master classes and rehearsals with theatre professionals.

Nathan’s coach was actress and singer Eden Espinosa (Wicked, Brooklyn the Musical, Rent) and Audrey worked with Adam Kantor (Rent, Fiddler on the Roof, The Band’s Visit). They also got to participate in talk back discussions with coaches Jenni Barber, MaryAnn Hu, Janet Dacal, Eliseo Roman and other special guests as they prepared their numbers that will be performed virtually at The Jimmy Awards on July 15.

The culminating event (and the biggest night in high school musical theatre) 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. Seventy-two students from 36 regions across the U.S. will compete for top performance awards along with 20 additional awards and scholarships in a virtual event hosted by Corbin Bleu. You can watch the nominees perform in the culminating showcase airing on July 15 at 6:30 PM Central on

Nebraska schools of all sizes can participate in the Nebraska High School Theater Academy program which aims to support arts education across the state. Educators can bring learning experiences to students though online learning opportunities, masterclasses with Broadway artists, audition experiences, backstage workshops — and of course the chance to represent the state at the Jimmy Awards!

Learn more about this O-pa education program and stay tuned for more on Audrey and Nathan’s experience as the 2021 Jimmy Award nominees!