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Joliet West High School junior Payton Fraser won the Best Performance in an Actress Role at the 2023 Broadway in Chicago Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards (IHSMTA) Monday night.  Payton was one of only of 12 nominees selected for Best Performance in an Actress Role from over 200 student applicants and 71 participating schools across the state of Illinois.  She was nominated for her role as Suzanne Prevot in Joliet West’s production of The Hello Girls.   Nominees performed two musical numbers from Disney’s Aladdin and were given the experience to work with a Broadway professional. An Aladdin representative sat on the panel of judges made up of industry professionals in the city of Chicago to adjudicate and selected the top six finalists and eventual Best Performer in an Actor and Best Performer in an Actress Role.    As the Best Performance in an Actress Role winner for Illinois, Payton will go on an all-expense-paid trip to New York City to represent the State of Illinois at The Jimmy Awards® and participate in a week-long theatre intensive of coaching and rehearsals with industry professionals in preparation for a one-night-only showcase on Broadway, where a panel of judges crowns the nation’s top performers. The Jimmy Awards® are named for legendary Broadway theater owner and producer James M. Nederlander.  Joliet West Choir Director Tim DeBoer has encouraged and supported Payton throughout this experience.  “Payton always works hard at her craft, but in preparation of this audition, she was more focused than usual.  This has been a tremendous opportunity and Payton has recognized that and risen to the challenge.  It is wonderful to see her recognized in this way and I am excited for her to take part in the Jimmy Awards next month." More information is in the ABC7 News Article HERE. Congratulations to Payton!

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