Monday, July 10, 2017

Local Student Sam Primack wins scholarship in National Theater Competition

Sam Primack
photo by Tim Trumble
from our friends at ASU Gammage:

Winners of ASU Gammage HSTMA compete in national Jimmy® Awards

Chaparral High School student Sam Primack won a $2,500 scholarship from the Barry and Fran Weissler Foundation after competing in the 2017 Jimmy® Awards in New York City. Primack was also awarded the Six Week Pre-College Drama Summer Program Scholarship, presented by Carnegie Mellon University.

Presented by The Broadway League Foundation, the awards are a national celebration of outstanding student achievement, recognizing individual artistry in vocal, dance and acting performance, and elevating the importance of theatre arts education in schools, according to its website.

Of the 74 nominees from 37 regional programs across the country, only six were awarded scholarships.

Arizona’s representatives in the competition were selected from the state-level qualifier, ASU Gammage’s High School Musical Theater Awards June 3.  Briana Fleming, winner of Best Lead Female for ASU Gammage, and Sam Primack, winner of Best Lead Male, traveled to New York City for a week-long musical theater training program taught by Broadway’s most influential players.

The program culminated in a talent showcase featuring both solo and ensemble performances as students competed for the Jimmy®Awards for Best Performance by an Actor and Actress.

Primack, who will be a junior at Chaparral High School next year, was nominated for his school’s production of Catch Me If You Can, but was not able to attend ASU Gammage’s High School Musical Theater Awards due to scheduling conflicts.

Before traveling to New York, Primack said he was overjoyed and excited to find out that he had won because he believed participating in the Jimmy® Awards would be an incredible opportunity.

“I’m hoping to learn a little bit about myself and the way that I can perform to the best of my abilities,”he explained. “I’m excited to meet new people and learn along with them.”

Briana Fleming
photo by Tim Trumble
Briana Fleming, a recent graduate of Marcos de Niza High School and Fairy Godmother in her school’s production of Cinderella, said she hoped the program would help her improve her skills.

“I’m hoping to get some really good advice from the people who are helping out with the madness of the Jimmy® Awards,” she said before the competition.

The ninth annual Jimmy® Awards, hosted by Dear Evan Hansen’s star Ben Platt, took place June 26 at Manhattan’s Minskoff Theatre. Two students from Orlando, Fla. won the overall awards for Best Performance by an actress and actor.

Melissa Vuletich, Cultural Participation program manager at ASU Gammage said the organization is excited to work with the Jimmy® Awards program because it provides opportunities for local students to connect with the arts.

“These performances allow for the community to celebrate and applaud students, teachers and administrators for keeping the love of musical theater alive in future generations. The pure excitement and joy on each student's face as they step foot on the same stage as Idina Menzel and Lin Manuel Miranda, is incomparable,” she said. “These are memories that will last a lifetime and allow students to see ASU Gammage, and ASU as a whole, as a welcoming and encouraging place and you can't ask for much more than that.

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