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Shuler Award Winners Parker Jennings and Ramone Nelson Heading to New York to Compete in Nationals on June 26

The 9th Annual Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards – Shuler Hensley Awards – were held in Atlanta at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on April 20.  Two of the evening’s award winners, Parker Jennings and Ramone Nelson, will go on to compete with young performers from across the country for the coveted Jimmy® Award as well as scholarships and professional opportunities. They are heading to New York to participate in the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, taking place at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway, on June 26, 2017.

Parker Jennings performing at 2017 Shuler Awards - Hatchett PRParker Jennings won the 2017 Shuler Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress for her role as Dorothy Brock in the Greater Atlanta Christian School production of 42nd Street. 

An Atlanta, GA native, Parker is excited to be making her Broadway debut at the 2017 Jimmy® Awards! She is a rising senior at Greater Atlanta Christian School where she was most recently seen as Laurey in Oklahoma! Other favorite roles include Dorothy Brock in 42nd Street, Mrs. Banks in Mary Poppins, for which she won the 2016 Best Performance by A Supporting Actress Shuler Award, Morticia Addams in The Addams Family, and Rebekah Muldoon in Anatomy of Gray. Parker has wanted a career in musical theatre for as long as she can remember, taking dance and vocal lessons since she was six years old. She plans to pursue a BFA in Musical Theatre.

Ramone Nelson - Best Leading Actor - DAYBOOKRamone Nelson won the 2017 Shuler Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor for his role as Jean Valjean in the Heritage High School production of Les Misérables.

Ramone is a Conyers, GA native. He is thrilled to represent the state of Georgia at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards. In addition to Les Misérables, other recent roles include: The Phantom in The Phantom of The Opera, Seaweed J. Stubbs in Hairspray, Cogsworth in Beauty and The Beast, Troy Maxson in Fences and Gator in Memphis: The Musical at The Georgia Thespians All-State Show. Ramone hopes this is just the beginning of his long career on a Broadway stage, and is forever grateful for the opportunity to perform on Broadway at this time in his life.  Next year Ramone will attend Florida State University to pursue a BFA in Musical Theatre.

Parker and Ramone will spend a whirlwind week in New York getting ready for the Jimmy® Awards. Upon arrival, they will find out whether they will be performing a solo medley, or a group number, at the awards show. Highlights of the trip will include auditioning for New York based producers, directors and casting directors, and rehearsals with a top-notch production team and choreographer. During the week, they’ll also attend a Broadway show and have dinner at the world famous Sardi’s Restaurant. The grand finale of the trip will be their performance on Broadway at the Jimmy® Awards.

The 2017 National High School Musical Theatre Awards – Jimmy® Awards – will be hosted by Ben Platt. Over 1,000 high schools and 50,000 students participate in these annual events. Since its inception in 2009, the NHSMTA has enabled over $1,000,000 in university and conservatory scholarships to be awarded to talented students at the national and local level—several of whom have already been cast in Broadway, Touring and West End productions. For more information, visit JimmyAwards.com.

The Shuler Awards, fashioned after Broadway’s Tony Awards, celebrate excellence in high school musical theatre. The awards show is produced and presented each year by ArtsBridge Foundation. The 2017 Shuler Hensley Awards were made possible by the following generous sponsors: presenting sponsor – The Georgia Lottery; gold sponsors – Georgia Public Broadcasting, Bennett Thrasher, Georgia State University TV; silver sponsors – Delta Community Credit Union, Zeist Foundation, Molly Blank Foundation; bronze sponsor – Six Flags Over Georgia.

ArtsBridge Foundation is dedicated to providing quality arts education and community programs that engage, motivate, inspire, and elevate the next generation of artists and arts supporters. ArtsBridge provides arts education opportunities to students in grades K-12 through programs at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre including Field Trips, Master Classes, a Family Series, and the annual Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards – The Shuler Hensley Awards. Since inception in 2007, ArtsBridge has served more than 300,000 students and educators from 54 Georgia counties. ArtsBridge Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. To learn more about their programs visit artsbridgega.org.

MEDIA Contact: Karen Hatchett – karen@hatchettpr.com

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