DES MOINES, IA — Des Moines Performing Arts is thrilled to announce that 67 schools will participate in this year’s Iowa High School Musical Awards. A statewide initiative starting in 2016, the Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards is a yearlong education program that celebrates the extraordinary achievements of young musical theater artists. The program has continued to grow by leaps and bounds since nine schools first participated during its inaugural year in 2012.


“We were thrilled to grow the Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards to reach statewide last year,” says Eric Olmscheid, director of programming and education. “This year we are delighted to continue that growth with a record-setting 67 schools representing all four corners of Iowa!”


One of the schools that will participate this year is Waukee High School.


Throughout the school year, panels of community adjudicators comprised of performing arts educators and professionals will attend and review each participating school’s production. Students and directors will receive valuable constructive feedback that can be used to grow and strengthen their future work. Based on reviews and scores, schools ultimately will receive awards in honor of their achievements in categories ranging from choreography, design, performance in a principal role, and overall musical production. Any student or school at an outstanding level is recognized for their achievement. Multiple honorees may be named in each category as performances merit.


The year will culminate in a professionally produced Awards Showcase to be held on the Des Moines Civic Center stage Monday, June 4, 2018. The Showcase will feature students performing highlights from this season’s productions. In addition, student representatives from participating schools will work with a guest New York City-based music director and choreographer on special numbers to open and close the evening.


Tickets to the Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards Showcase will be available in April 2018.