Congrats Cooley! Justin Cooley, who is set to make his Broadway debut later this season in Kimberly Akimbo, has won the 12th annual Clive Barnes Theatre Artist Award for his performance as Seth in the Off-Broadway run of the Jeanine Tesori and David Lindsay-Abaire musical.
Cooley previously received the 2022 Theatre World award for his performance, as well as nominations from the Drama Desk Awards, the Outer Critics Circle Awards, and the Lucille Lortel Awards. A finalist in the 2021 Jimmy Awards, Cooley joins Reneé Rapp, Andrew Barth Feldman, Antonio Cipriano and others in a recent groundswell of Broadway talent from the national high school musical theatre awards.
Finalists for the prize included Jasai Chase-Owens (Sanctuary City), Erin Wilhelmi (To Kill a Mockingbird), and Samantha Williams (Caroline, Or Change). Cooley was one of two winners at the annual event, alongside Mira Nadon of New York City Ballet, who received the Clive Barnes Dance Artist Award. Finalists for the Dance Artist Award included American Ballet Theatre's Zimmi Coker and Erica Lall, alongside Gibney Dance Company's Jake Tribus.
Winners of the Clive Barnes Awards receive $5,000 each, while all finalists receive a $500 prize. Recipients are chosen by a selection committee comprising critics and performers in each field. Mindy Aloff, William H. Ausman, Diana Byer, Jenny Chiang, DiLella, Nicole Duffy, Erik Forrest Jackson, Marshall Heyman, Patrick Pacheco, and William Whitener served on this year's committee.
The Clive & Valerie Barnes Foundation, currently led by Holly Jones and Lloyd Mayor, was formed in 2009 in honor of the late writer and critic Clive Barnes; it honors two young professionals in dance and theatre each year with its annual awards.