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  • Portraits for the Homefront: The Story of Elizabeth Black
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  • Classical Crossroads
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LOCAL STUDENT FROM MONACA WINS SCHOLARSHIP AT THE 2012 JIMMY AWARDS
PBS TO AIR AWARDS SPECIAL SERIES "BROADWAY OR BUST"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 31, 2012

CONTACT:
George Hazimanolis
412-622-1366
ghazimanolis@wqed.org

LOCAL STUDENT FROM MONACA WINS SCHOLARSHIP AT THE 2012 JIMMY AWARDS,
PBS TO AIR AWARDS SPECIAL SERIES “BROADWAY OR BUST”

PITTSBURGH – Local student Erica Durham of Central Valley High School in Monaca is the recipient of a $2,500 scholarship from the Barry and Fran Weissler Foundation for being one of four runners-up at the 2012 Jimmy Awards.

Durham won this scholarship after 60 of America’s top high school musical theater performers, including three other local students (Ryan Vander Wagen of Hopewell Area High School; and Nathan Pool and Brooke Tate of Avonworth Area High School) arrived in New York City this summer for an intensive week of “theatrical boot camp.” The annual event is now the subject of a new three-part primetime series called BROADWAY OR BUST airing Sundays this fall beginning September 9, 2012 on WQED-TV at 8 p.m.

BROADWAY OR BUST will be the first-ever TV series to capture the behind-the-scenes coaching and grueling rehearsal schedule leading up to the National High School Musical Theater Awards (NHSMTA). Popularly known as “The Jimmy Awards”—named in honor of renowned Broadway theatre owner and producer James M. Nederlander—this national competition culminates in a unique weeklong New York experience—a make-it-or-break-it week of rehearsals, coaching and auditions that are capped by an awards event on a Broadway stage in front of a live audience and a panel of high-profile judges.

BROADWAY OR BUST is a co-production of WGBH Boston and Lance K. Shultz, in association with the National High School Music Theater Awards. Funding for the series is provided by PBS. For additional information, please visit pbs.org/broadwayorbust.

WQED Pittsburgh has a proud history of honors, including 128 National and Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Awards, an Academy Award, and many, many others, including two Emmy® Awards for Station Excellence. WQED was founded in 1954 as the nation’s first community-supported broadcaster. The people of WQED create, produce and distribute quality programs, products and services to engage, inform, educate and entertain the public within their community and around the world. WQED Pittsburgh is one of the first broadcasters in the country to be fully high-definition (HD) in its studio and field production capabilities. It is the parent company of WQED-TV (PBS); WQED: The Neighborhood Channel; WQED: The Create Channel; WQED Showcase; Classical WQED-FM 89.3/Pittsburgh; Classical WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; the Pittsburgh Concert Channel at WQED-HD2 (89.3-2FM) and online at www.wqed.org/fm; local and national television and radio productions; WQED Interactive (www.wqed.org) and iQ: smartmedia, WQED’s Educational initiative (www.wqed.org/edu).

Lance Shultz has produced, directed, written, executive-produced and distributed an array of award-winning television programs for domestic and foreign broadcast markets. In addition to non-fiction television, genres include reality shows, national television commercials, and live Las Vegas stage shows and special events. Mr. Shultz’s films have aired on PBS, The Discovery Channel, A&E, and other network. Mr. Shultz has also produced and directed specials which include some of Hollywood’s top names such as John Travolta, Sidney Pollack and music legends Jimmy Paige of Led Zeppelin, Brian Johnson of AC/DC, and Charlie Daniels.

The National High School Musical Theater Awards (NHSMTA) is a celebration of outstanding achievement in vocal, dance and acting performance, developed to elevate the profile of in-school arts education across America, provide college scholarships and create pathways connecting promising young performers to the professional theater industry. Each year, 50,000 teenagers at 1,000 high schools participate in the program. Students who win lead actor and actress awards at their regional high school musical theater awards competitions convene in New York City for five days of private coaching and rehearsals at the New Studio on Broadway, NYU Tisch School of the Arts Department of Drama, in preparation for their Broadway debut at The Jimmy™ Awards. The program was founded in 2009 by Pittsburgh CLO and Nederlander Alliances LLC, under the leadership of James L. Nederlander, and is produced by The Broadway Education Alliance in association with Pittsburgh CLO. It has been supported by The National Endowment for the Arts, The Broadway League, The Shubert Organization and other industry organizations and foundations committed to nurturing future artists and audiences. The Jimmy™ Award is named for James M. Nederlander, the legendary Broadway theater owner, in honor of his vision and generous support of young artists. For more information please visit www.nhsmta.com.

PITTSBURGH CLO has been the driving force behind live musical theater in Pittsburgh and the Southwestern Pennsylvania region since 1946. Under the direction of Van Kaplan since 1997, this not-for-profit arts organization appreciates the support of nearly 200,000 patrons each year and produces a subscription series, educational programs and develops and invests in new works and national tours, including 13 Broadway shows (13 Tony® Awards) including the current production of Evita and the national tour of The Addams Family. The organization’s dedication to the musical theater art form includes programs such as the CLO Academy, the CLO Mini Stars, the Gene Kelly Awards, the Richard Rodgers Award, the Construction Center for the Arts, the CLO Cabaret and The National High School Musical Theater Awards.

BROADWAY EDUCATION ALLIANCE is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to supporting the theatre industry through the development of coalition programs between performing arts institutions and philanthropic partnerships with public and private entities. The mission is to raise awareness around and fund arts education programs and provide services that inspire creativity, build confidence and stimulate thinking in American’s youth. The organization is a member of the New York Institute of Technology’s Education Enterprise Zone®.

PBS, with its nearly 360 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 123 million people through television and more than 21 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available.


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George Hazimanolis
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412.622.1366
ghazimanolis@wqed.org

 

Maria Pisano
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mpisano@wqed.org

 

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