Liam Ginsburg is 2021-22 Winner of The Roger Rees Award for Best Actor in the Metropolitan Area

Liam Ginsburg is 2021-22 Winner of The Roger Rees Award for Best Actor in the Metropolitan Area

Freshman Liam Ginsburg was named 2021-22 Winner of The Roger Rees Award for Best Actor in the Metropolitan Area. He was selected for his performance as Billy Kane in “Bright Star.” He will now move on to compete against winners from around the nation in the Jimmy Awards. Liam is the first male from PMHS to win this award, and the third recipient from the school to win. He follows in the footsteps of alumnas Sarah Alice Liddy (2014), and Meredith Heller (2020). This year, senior Oliver Tam also made it into the finals, making this something of a milestone year for Sock ‘n’ Buskin performers.

The Roger Rees Awards for Excellence in Student Performance is presented by Disney Theatrical Group (The Broadway League member) and the Broadway Education Alliance (Roger Rees Awards fiscal sponsor) in association with Camp Broadway LLC who serve as the program administrator and showcase producer. It is currently the only student award in the New York metro area that recognizes distinction in student performance and outstanding achievement in high school musical theatre programs. The program is funded through donations from industry professionals, foundations, licensing companies, and other individuals or companies who are committed to supporting performing arts programs in area schools. The Roger Rees Awards (RRA) is the Greater New York Regional Award program of The Broadway League Foundation’s, The Jimmy® Awards, aka The National High School Musical Theatre Awards® (NHSMTA®).

The road to the top was as follows: performers had to have three (3) theatre professionals to see the actual production (in person or online) and evaluate each eligible student in the context of their live performance in the school musical production (in-person or online). These individuals must be unbiased, independent and in no way affiliated with the school, the production, or members of the cast, crew, or production team. Students were judged on a range of skills including Stage Presence, Musicianship, Characterization, and Movement.

Those with the highest scores, were then invited to participate in an in-person masterclass with experienced Broadway professionals who will coach students on their individual performances. Coaching sessions were held in New York City from May 9-12. Following the class, the team of director/choreographers and music directors complete a second evaluation of each student’s performance. The top-ranking 6 female and 6 male students are designated award Finalists. This year Pelham produced two Finalists: Ginsburg and senior Oliver Tam.

Each of the twelve Award Finalists were invited to perform their song, accompanied by a professional pianist, in-person for a panel of theatre experts on Sunday, May 22, which was live-streamed. Ginsburg sang the title song from “Bright Star” and Tam sang “Heartbreaker” also from the show.

A panel of 5-7 professionals completed the final award program rubric for each student based on the students’ performance they see. (Judges do not see the student’s audition video or coaching session.) Individual judge’s scores were then tabulated by Roger Rees Awards administrators. The two students with the highest total score are designated the winner of the Best Actor and Best Actress Awards.