The Nebraska High School Theater Academy celebrates the outstanding achievements of participating high schools and middle schools with awards for top performers, excellence behind the scenes and more during the annual Tony Awards® style Showcase event presented by Omaha Performing Arts.
At the showcase, participating schools and students have the opportunity to win awards for artistic excellence in several categories. All award winners will receive trophies/special recognition live onstage at the Orpheum Theater! Select winners are also invited perform as a part of that evening’s program. This season’s award categories include:
Learn more about each award below.
OUTSTANDING MUSICAL THEATER PRODUCTION
Up to 10 high school musical theater productions and up to 2 middle school musical theater productions will be recognized in this award category. Winners will be determined by a formal adjudication process. High schools receiving awards for Outstanding Musical Theater Production will be invited to perform up to a 5-minute number from their award-winning musical at the Showcase.
Schools will need to submit the piano/vocal scores of their top 3 song choices to potentially perform at the Showcase.
OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE
Up to 10 high school musical theater ensembles and up to 2 middle school musical theater ensembles will be recognized as winners in this award category. Winners will be determined by a formal adjudication process.
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE IN A LEAD ROLE
Up to 20 high school students (10 actors and 10 actresses) will be recognized as winners in this award category. Winners will be determined by a formal adjudication process. Student winners in this category are invited to perform in a special musical number at the showcase.
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Up to 20 high school students (10 actors and 10 actresses) will be recognized as winners in this award category. Winners will be determined by a formal adjudication process.
BACKSTAGE EXCELLENCE AWARD
The Backstage Excellence Award honors one group of students for demonstrating teamwork, professionalism and a commitment to excellence behind-the-scenes. Student run crews, costume crews, set construction crews, stagehands or any group of students in grades 7-12 who have dedicated time in a backstage capacity are eligible. Teachers are responsible for nominating students for the Backstage Excellence Award.
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN STAGE MANAGEMENT
The award for Outstanding Achievement in Stage Management honors students who demonstrate professionalism, leadership and commitment to excellence in stage management. Student stage managers or assistant stage managers in grades 7-12 are eligible to apply.
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DESIGN
The award for Outstanding Achievement in Design honors students in grades 7-12 who demonstrate artistry, skill and a commitment to excellence in costume, hair/makeup, props, scenic, sound or lighting design. Winners will be determined through an application process. Students in grades 7-12 may submit multiple applications in different design categories (e.g. one application for a costume design and another application for a scenic design). Each application should focus on one design project or concept.
OUTSTANDING EDUCATOR AWARD
The Outstanding Educator Award honors teachers for their outstanding achievements in performing arts education. The awards will recognize middle school and high school educators who embody the highest standards in performing arts education and demonstrate a positive impact on the lives of students. Current or past students, fellow educators, school administrators, parents, or community members may nominate teachers for this award.
SENIOR OF THE YEAR
The senior of the Year Award honors one senior for their outstanding achievements in performing arts throughout high school. The award will recognize a student who embodies the highest standards of leadership within their school and demonstrates a positive impact on the lives of their fellow peers and teachers. Educators, fellow students, school administrators, parents or community members may nominate students for this award.
JIMMY AWARDS NATIONAL FINALISTS AND NOMINEES
Each year, the Nebraska High School Theater Academy nominates 2 high school students (1 actor and 1 actress) to compete with other top musical theatre students from across the nation at the 2024 National High School Musical Theatre Awards in NYC. Students are selected through an online application and audition process. The 2 national nominees will be announced live onstage at the showcase.
Click here for more information.
JIMMY AWARDS STUDENT REPORTER
This award honors top high school student journalists. Winners will be selected through a video application process - more information below.
Winners will be expected to shadow performers as they cover the NHSTA Showcase rehearsal week on social media and have the chance to receive national recognition at the Jimmy Awards in NYC.
Each year, the Jimmy Awards invites select Student Reporters from participating Regional Awards Programs to cover Jimmy Awards events through social media on both the official Jimmy Awards channels and the student’s personal channels. Student Reporters work directly with the Jimmy Awards Digital team which allows them to receive an insider look at the digital marketing strategy of Jimmy Awards coverage while gaining insight into the field as a whole.
HOW TO APPLY: Create a 60-second video showing or describing how you would uniquely cover the Jimmy Awards on social media, as well as promoting tuning into a live stream performance or attending in-person. The video should be minimally edited and should include at least one unedited segment of at least 20-seconds in length with the applicant speaking directly to the camera. The videos must not include any performance footage.
We want to see your personality shine in this video! Think of it as hosting a version of "MTV Cribs" or an audition video to be on a non-performance reality show.
The winner will be notified in early-May 2023. Want an example of a great application video? Check out award-winning student reporter, Hannah Kate-Kinney’s video here!
NHSTA SPIRIT AWARD
Each year 1 student from the Showcase Ensemble will receive this special award for demonstrating professionalism, teamwork and going above and beyond during the NHSTA Showcase rehearsal process.
Showcase Performance Opportunities
Each school is invited to select 1-2 students to join the 2023/2024 Showcase Ensemble and perform in the opening and/or closing number at the showcase with our Broadway guest artist/host. Teachers are responsible for selecting students to participate in the Showcase Ensemble. Please complete the form below with selected student information by Friday, May 10, 2024. This opportunity is not connected to awards and gives ALL participating schools a chance to shine!
Outstanding Musical Theater Production
If your high school is awarded for "Outstanding Musical Production," your students have the opportunity of performing on the Orpheum Theater stage during the NHSTA Showcase!
Outstanding Performance in a Lead Role
If you are awarded for "Outstanding Performance in a Lead Role," you will have the opportunity to perform with your peers on the Orpheum Theater stage during the NHSTA Showcase!
Showcase rehearsals are scheduled to run Sunday, June 9, 2024 - Thursday, June 13, 2024 with an afternoon dress rehearsal and evening performance time (7:30pm) on Thursday, June 13, 2024. The showcase performance and rehearsals will take place at the Holland Performing Arts Center and the Orpheum Theater. Meals will be provided throughout the rehearsal and performance period. A detailed rehearsal schedule with specific call times will be provided in spring 2024.
Housing, Meals and Transportation
Because of the intensive rehearsal schedule, O-pa will provide students performing as a part of the Showcase Ensemble, National Finalists, winners of Outstanding Performance in a Lead Role and Student Reporter with free housing the evenings of June 9-June 12, 2024. Students performing as a part of the Showcase Ensemble, Lead Ensemble and winner of the Outstanding Student Reporter Award are encouraged, but not required to stay in Creighton University dormitory housing throughout the rehearsal period. National Finalists are required to staying in housing throughout rehearsal week. Students will stay in the dormitories at Creighton University. O-pa will hire experienced chaperones to stay with students in the dorms and accompany them to/from rehearsals each day. O-pa will also provide students and chaperones with transportation to/from rehearsals each day. Students who stay in the dorms must adhere to Omaha Performing Arts Code of Conduct and complete a Housing Release Form. These documents can be found in the performer guides available later this spring.
Students in Residence will receive free breakfast, lunch and dinner between rehearsals June 9-June 13, 2024. Free dinner will be provided to all performers who attend the dress rehearsal on June 13, 2024.
NHSTA Showcase Important Dates and Deadlines
Please note that all dates are subject to change