Mar 26, 2021

Playhouse Square Announces 2021 Dazzle Awards Nominees

Recognizing the importance of musical theater and arts education in Northeast Ohio high schools, Playhouse Square proudly has hosted the Dazzle Awards presented by Pat and John Chapman since 2015. Although COVID-19 forced the cancellation of last year’s awards ceremony, Playhouse Square was determined to find a way to hold the program this year.

“So many of us have been missing that connective power of the arts this past year,” said Daniel Hahn, Vice President of Community Engagement & Education at Playhouse Square. “We committed to continuing to serve our Dazzle Awards schools with educational opportunities and helping students to grow their skills. Like many other organizations and programs, we made the pivot to online offerings. Though it is certainly not the same as being together in person, I am so proud of the work the students and their directors have done this year.”

Throughout the 2020-21 program, Playhouse Square offered students of participating schools 12 master classes and three panel discussions with Broadway professionals and three audition workshops, all online. The culminating awards ceremony will be a virtual broadcast on Tuesday, June 1 at 7 p.m. 

Not every participating school was able to produce a full musical, so out of the 15 typical categories, only the Best Actor and Best Actress Dazzle Awards will be given this year. The Best Actor and Best Actress will represent Northeast Ohio at The Jimmy Awards®/The National High School Musical Theatre Awards® this summer.

The 2021 Dazzle Award Nominees:

Best Actor
Daniel Blum, Mayfield High School
Tyler DiFranco, Midview High School
Anthony Ghali, Lutheran High School West
Wilson Ha, Hawken School
Mason Kacmar, Aurora High School
Connor McFalls, The Akron School for the Arts at Firestone CLC
Emmanuel Stewart, Thomas W. Harvey High School

Best Actress
Lauren Claxton, Wadsworth High School
Gabrielle Ilg, Medina High School
Eve Jursinski, Saint Joseph Academy
Katie Kapp, Orange High School
Aalliyah Plass, Eastlake North High School
Hannah Tramonte, Highland High School
Calista Zajac, Magnificat High School

Tickets for the June 1 Dazzle Awards virtual broadcast are $10 and are available online at or by calling 216-241-6000.

The Jimmy Awards®/The National High School Musical Theatre Awards® (NHSMTA®) program impacts more than 140,000 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 has, in past years, invited two nominees from each of these regional ceremonies to New York City to participate in a theatre intensive including coaching and rehearsals with Broadway professionals in preparation for a one-night-only talent showcase on a Broadway stage. The twelfth Jimmy Awards will be presented on Thursday, July 15, 2021. Due to the ongoing health concerns with COVID-19, this year’s program will be completely virtual. To date, the program has been the catalyst for more than $4,000,000 in educational scholarships, and several student participants have already been cast in Broadway, Touring and West End productions. For moreinformation, please visit