Des Moines Performing Arts is pleased to announce that 79 schools will participate in the 2018–2019 Iowa High School Musical Awards. Presented by EMC Insurance Companies, the Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards celebrates the achievements of students involved in high school musicals across the entire state of Iowa. During the 2018-2019 year, 17 new schools will take part in this exciting program.

The year-long education program launched during the 2012–2013 school year by Des Moines Performing Arts consists of three main components:

Professional Review

Each participating musical production receives a professional review. A panel of performing arts educators and professionals (adjudicators) attend each school’s musical and provides feedback on everything from individual actors’ performances, to the orchestra, set, lighting, costumes and more. Teachers and students use these insights to make their next show even stronger. Schools participating year over year have seen dramatic transformations in skill, student enthusiasm, and community support.

Learning Opportunities

Throughout the school year, workshops led by theater professionals help students grow. While some sessions focus on performance skills, others focus on technical areas such as lighting design, scenic design, and stage management. Many opportunities bring students face-to-face with Broadway professionals.

Awards Showcase

The year will culminate in a professionally produced Awards Showcase to be held on the Des Moines Civic Center stage Monday, June 3, 2019. Based on reviewer scores and nominations, outstanding musicals and performers are invited to share highlights from their productions. Rehearsals with a guest Broadway music director and choreographer prepare students for impressive opening and closing numbers. Awards and recognitions are given throughout the evening, including to two students who win the honor of representing Iowa at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards in New York City.