Illinois students given a virtual stage through Broadway in Chicago

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Using social media as a stage, Broadway in Chicago's "Around the Broadway in 80 Days" is giving Illinois High School Musical Theater Awards participants a place to showcase their talent.

The Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards is one of the largest in the country with nearly 80 schools participating and impacting more than 35,000 students in the state.

The talented Miguel Cevantes from the Chicago cast of "Hamilton" is the face of a new digital movement.

"All you amazing, talented kids who didn't get to perform your song, I want to hear you perform them right here," Cevantes said in a video launch of the project. "I want everyone to see all the hard work that you have done."

Talented kids from across the state are now able to showcase their talent from the safety of their own homes.

One person who knows the excitement of the awards is the first ever Best Actor Winner, Nathan Salstone.

Since his win in 2012, Salstone's has taken part in big shows like original Broadway production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. He's excited to hear students are still getting the same opportunity he had, just in a different way.

"Normally, only the winners of the Illinois Theater Awards are publicized, so this gives a chance for many nominees to be publicized. Look at how many people become famous or known over social media in the past couple of years," Salstone said.

"Around Broadway In 80 Days" will feature videos of students on both Broadway In Chicago and Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards's social media networks and will be tagged with #AroundBroadwayin80Days.
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