The St. Louis High School Musical Theatre Awards (SLHSMTA) winners Theo Rickert and Will Kinsella recently returned from an exhilarating 12-day trip to New York City, where they competed with 100 other high school students from across the country at the prestigious Jimmy Awards®/National High School Musical Theatre Awards®. 

The unforgettable experience highlighted the exceptional abilities of St. Louis’ young performers, who had the opportunity to engage with Broadway professionals, participate in intensive workshops, and be part of the vibrant theatrical community in the heart of Broadway. Rickert and Kinsella showcased their talents on a national stage at the Jimmy Awards® on Monday, June 25 at the Minskoff Theatre in New York City.

Theo and Will also had the opportunity to attended the illustrious Tony Awards® on Sunday, June 24 at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, hosted by Academy Award winner and Tony Award® nominee Ariana DeBose.

The Jimmy Awards® are presented by The Broadway League Foundation and the Pittsburgh CLO. With 102 nominees from 51 regional awards programs, the evening was hosted GRAMMY Award-nominated singer, songwriter, and actor Josh Groban.

Will Kinsella

2024 O’Fallon Township High School graduate, Will Kinsella, performed in the Feature number. “Jimmy Awards® week was a total blast! We were able to meet so many important people in the industry and got to experience the magical world of Broadway,” says Kinsella. “A big highlight was that we were surprised with a trip to the Tony’s dress rehearsal, and then surprised again when we went to see the actual Tony Awards®! We saw MJ the Musical, toured the Museum of Broadway, and embarked on so many other epic New York adventures. We finished out the once in a lifetime journey by making our Broadway debut after rehearsing the week prior. I will never forget the feeling when I walked out onto the Minskoff Theatre stage for the first time: complete awe.” Kinsella reflects.

Theo Rickert, a rising senior at Belleville West High School, performed “(Just A) Simple Sponge” from the musical The SpongeBob Musical in thecharacter medley #4. “The Jimmy Awards® was one of the best weeks of my life! It was so much fun and such a great educational opportunity,” says Rickert. “This experience was too impactful to put into words and I am so grateful for the honor of being able to participate. I will always cherish the friendships made with my wonderful peers and the life changing opportunities and experiences at the Jimmy Awards®.”

Theo Rickert

About The St. Louis High School Musical Theatre Awards

The St. Louis High School Musical Theatre Awards (SLHSMTA) are produced by The Fabulous Fox, The Muny and The Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation. This program is designed to celebrate outstanding achievement in high school musical theatre. Participating schools have their productions evaluated by a panel of theatre professionals. The year-long adjudication process culminates in an awards ceremony modeled on the Tony Awards©. The winners of the Outstanding Actress and Outstanding Actor categories travel to New York (all expenses paid) to compete in the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (Jimmy Awards©) program and to participate in a week-long professional development experience

About The Jimmy Awards® / National High School Musical Theatre Awards®

The Jimmy Awards®/The National High School Musical Theatre Awards® (NHSMTA®) program impacts more than 100,000 students who participate in high school musical theatre competitions sponsored by presenters of Touring Broadway productions throughout the United States. Presented by the Broadway League Foundation, the program sends a Best Actress and Best Actor winner from each of these competitions to New York for a week-long theatre intensive of coaching and rehearsals with industry professionals in preparation for a one-night-only talent showcase on Broadway. Named for Broadway impresario James M. Nederlander, the program has been the catalyst for more than $2,000,000 in educational scholarships. The fourteenth annual Jimmy Awards® will take place on Monday, June 26, 2023 at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway. Coaching and rehearsals for this one-of-a-kind event will be held Monday, June 19, 2023 through Monday, June 26, 2023 in New York City. For more information, please visit

About Carol B. Loeb

Carol B. Loeb has a great passion for educating young people. A career mathematician and educator, Carol believes passionately that all areas of study contribute to a student’s success – including the arts and musical theatre. Through her intellect and generosity, she has impacted an untold number of students at all levels of education. She is honored to serve as the presenting sponsor of the St. Louis High School Musical Theatre Awards.

Theo Rickert and Will Kinsella. Photo provided by Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation.