IHSMTA Rules and Guidelines

2018 IHSMTA School applications are at capacity and are now closed.
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2018 IHSMTA: Musicals must take place prior to April 30, 2018
2019 IHSMTA: Musicals must take place prior to April 15, 2019

School Rules:

Eligible high schools must be public or private schools within the state of Illinois.

Schools may only submit an application for one high school musical per school year. The show must be a qualifying show from the Jimmy Awards list here (subject to change).

Eligible musicals must be performed prior to the musical submission deadline (above).

• Schools that choose to double cast their musical must select one cast for adjudication. The students in the selected cast will be eligible to be nominated and apply for Best Actor and Best Actress. An exception will be made only if both students who are double cast in the same role have been previously invited to IHSMTA. If a school chooses to double cast and has a student who was previously invited to IHSMTA, the cast with the previously nominated student will be evaluated. Educators must communicate all applicable performances dates for the selected cast to IHSMTA no later than one month prior to their first performance. 

• IHSMTA School Application must be completed by a teacher or administrator who represents a public or private high school in the state of Illinois. Broadway In Chicago encourages all Illinois Public and Private High Schools to apply; School Applications will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. All subsequent applicants will be added to a waiting list in order of receipt. Early applications are encouraged.

Schools will provide IHSMTA four complimentary tickets to their production, on the date(s) IHSTMTA chooses, for the Broadway In Chicago representatives to evaluate the show.

2018 IHSMTA Categories and Evaluation Criteria:

Best Performance by an Actor: Best Actor is evaluated primarily on their complete proficiency in the areas of singing, acting, and dancing.

Best Performance by an Actress: Best Actress is evaluated primarily on their complete proficiency in the areas of singing, acting, and dancing.

Best Scenic Design presented by Grosh Backdrops and Drapery: For Best Scenic Design, the production is evaluated on how well the set supports the production and helps to create a cohesive vision.

Best Direction: Best Direction evaluates how the director has used all of the elements at their disposal to create the strongest production they can with their available resources.

Best Production presented by Guardian Music Travel: Best Production evaluates the appropriateness of the selection of the piece and if it was executed to be the strongest high school musical the participating school could produce.

Eligibility Requirements for Best Actor and Best Actress:

Student applicants for Best Actor/Actress must be enrolled in grades 9-12 in an Illinois public or private high school participating in IHSMTA, have performed in a full-length high school affiliated musical theatre production during the 2017-2018 academic year, and must be a resident of the state of Illinois.

To compete in the Best Performance by an Actor or Best Performance by an Actress categories, astudent must have played a qualifying role in a full-length high school musical theater production. A supporting role does not qualify. A comprehensive list of eligible roles can be found at jimmyawards.com

Student applicants for Best Actor/Actress must agree to the possible videotaping, televised opportunities, photos, press interviews, and print advertising in conjunction with the Broadway In Chicago Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards.

Students must be willing and available to participate in both the Broadway In Chicago Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards early June 2018 (TBD), and the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (The Jimmy Awards) in late June 2018.

A list of qualifying roles for Best Actor and Best Actress can be found here (subject to change).

IHSMTA Ceremony and Award Recipients:

The 24 nominees will be evaluated through an audition process that includes two live performances of two solo songs: one song (up-tempo or ballad, if applicable) from the lead role he/she played in the musical for which they have been nominated and one song of the finalist’s choosing, from a Jimmy Awards Qualifying Show. Nominees must provide their own clearly-marked sheet music in a 3-ring binder in page protectors. All nominees must perform with the provided accompanist – no recordings or a cappella singing will be allowed. Two students (one actor and one actress) will be selected as the award recipients to compete at The Jimmy Awards on behalf of Illinois.

If selected as the Best Actor or Best Actress Award Recipient:

The student must be available and willing to participate in The Jimmy Awards held in New York City in late June 2018.

The two award recipients will travel on an all-expense paid trip with a Broadway In Chicago chaperone. Air transportation, meals, and housing in New York will be provided for the week of the program.

Additional release forms for the trip and for the NHSMTA program must be signed by the student and a parent/guardian.

The Jimmy Awards week includes one-on-one coaching, auditions and rehearsal for the Jimmy Awards. Finalists are selected by a panel of judges made up of Broadway professionals.


Please email [email protected] if you have any questions, or need clarification on any of the above.