Straz Center hosts Broadway Star of the Future Awards on June 2 with Eric Peterson

The Straz Center for the Performing Arts honors Tampa Bay area high school theater students and programs in its Broadway Star of the Future Awards Showcase, June 2, in Ferguson Hall. This Tony Awards® inspired extravaganza celebrates artistic excellence in musical theater by featuring student talent and musical numbers representing the best of the area’s high school productions.

Eric Peterson
Eric Peterson

This year’s awards showcase will be hosted by Eric Petersen, an actor who has worked extensively in television and on Broadway. Notably, Petersen played Arlo Barth on the TV Land sitcom “Kirstie”, and most recently starred in the hit Broadway musicals School of Rock and Escape to Margaritaville, featuring the music of Jimmy Buffett.

Awards will be given in the following categories: Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Play, Outstanding Actor in a Musical, Outstanding Actor in a Play, Outstanding Actress in a Musical, Outstanding Actress in a Play, Outstanding Supporting Performer in a Musical, Outstanding Supporting Performer in a Play, Outstanding Director for a Musical, Outstanding Director for a Play, Outstanding Musical Director, Outstanding Choreographer, Outstanding Dancer, Outstanding Orchestra, Outstanding Technical Achievement and additional special acknowledgement awards.

From selected Outstanding Actor and Actress winners, a Best Actor and Actress winner will be announced to represent the Straz Center in the 2019 National High School Musical Theatre Awards, known as The Jimmy Awards®, in New York City. Presented by The Broadway League Foundation, The Jimmy Awards are a national celebration of outstanding student achievement, recognizing individual artistry in vocal, dance and acting performance and elevating the importance of theater arts education in schools.

From September through May of this year, 43 high school productions in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Manatee Counties applied for inclusion in Broadway Star of the Future and were reviewed by a team of theater professionals, college faculty and industry experts who provided feedback to students and instructors.  The most outstanding nominees will be acknowledged at the Broadway Star of the Future Awards Showcase.

The program’s goal is to provide experiences and opportunities for local high school students and faculty and to engage local families and community members in a celebration of educational theater.

Broadway Star of the Future Awards will be held Sunday, June 2, at 2 p.m. Regularly priced tickets are $25 and may be purchased by calling 813.229.STAR (7827) or 800.955.1045 outside Tampa Bay, in person at the Straz Center Ticket Office or online at


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