Under the guidance of health offiicals, we have established important procedures for resuming events at the Orpheum Theatre and Halloran Centre. Read all of the details.



Due to the challenges presented by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the 2021 Orpheum High School Musical Theatre Awards will operate like never before. While the overall program is being evaluated and future adjustments will be made, this year’s approach will be unique to this year only and is not meant to be precedent-setting for years ahead. We invite you to join us for an adventure and experiment as we roll with the constant punches of 2020-2021.

Goals for the 2021 HSMTAs

• Provide a creative outlet for students who have had many if not all of their performing arts experiences disrupted, adapted, or canceled due to the global pandemic
• Build community, connection, and a place for self-expression for young people who are passionate about theatre and the performing arts
• Provide quality experiences in vocal music, movement, and acting
• Develop collaboration, team-building skills, and support strategies
• Work towards more equitable access to the HSMTA program
• Build confidence, resilience, and passion for the arts
• Celebrate the achievements in high school theater programs and productions
• Build stronger relationships between regional school performing arts programs and the Orpheum Theatre Group

Nationals/The Jimmy Awards

The National High School Musical Theatre Awards, or Jimmy Awards, that this program is affiliated with will be happening in a virtual format this year. Each participating Regional Awards Program, like the Orpheum, is still required to submit one Outstanding Lead Actor and Actress to participate in this national program which will consist of online workshops, master classes, rehearsals, recordings, and performances.


The Orpheum Theatre Group is thrilled to announce this year’s nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor and Outstanding Lead Actress! We can’t wait for these 12 talented students to join us on site in a safe and socially distanced setting for a week of workshops, rehearsals, coaching, and filming that will be featured in our Virtual HSMTA Presentation on June 12. Learn more about the lead awards.

How the 2021 HSMTAs Will Work

The HSMTAs will culminate in a virtual celebration of all participating students and schools on June 12, 2021.

This event will be made up of individual pre-recorded video submissions as well as socially distanced recordings filmed on-site at the Orpheum Theatre and Halloran Centre for the Performing Arts & Education.

For the 2021 school year, the awards that will be presented are as follows:

Individual school participation is designed as follows:

  • All past participating schools, whether they produced a show this year or not, will be invited to submit short videos based on a series of prompts to be provided. These videos will be incorporated into the final virtual celebration where all schools will be celebrated and honored.
  • More details and guidelines, including schedule of deadlines and instructions to register, have been emailed to participating schools.

Student participation is designed as follows:

  • For Lead Actor/Actress:
    • Any SENIOR from any school within a 150-mile radius of the Orpheum Theatre wishing to audition for Outstanding Lead Actor or Actress, singing a song from the qualifying role list (to be provided) is eligible.
    • Each young person will submit a video submission for a qualifying round of adjudication.
    • Finalists from the qualifying video adjudications will be invited to on-site finalist sessions for coaching, filming, and final adjudication.
    • For the 2021 nominees, more details and guidelines, visit orpheum-memphis.com/hsmtaleads.
  • For Opening/Closing Number:
    • Any SENIOR from any school within a 150-mile radius of the Orpheum Theatre wishing to participate in the Opening/Closing number is eligible to do so.
    • These seniors will participate in a series of online workshops and rehearsals, culminating in a virtual performance assembled for the final event.
    • For more details and guidelines, visit orpheum-memphis.com/hsmtaopeningclosing.
  • For non-seniors:
    • Students from Grades 9-11 from any school within a 150-mile radius of the Orpheum Theatre wishing to participate in the newly created Musical Theatre virtual workshops taking place during our HSMTA virtual workshop weeks were eligible to do so.

The Spirit of the HSMTAs Honor will be presented to a senior based on their participation in the virtual opening or closing number. They will be evaluated by the Opening and Closing number artistic team based on their passion, dedication, commitment, and support of their fellow participants.

Inspiring Teacher Award information can be found at orpheum-memphis.com/inspiringteacher.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if my school is not doing any musical this year? Are we still able to participate?

  • YES! Students are still eligible for all of the HSMTA offerings and if your school participated in the HSMTA Virtual celebration last year, you are still welcome to submit a 2-minute video for inclusion this year. Details on that process will follow.

What if I am a student attending a school that has never participated in the HSMTAs before? Am I still eligible to participate?

  • Seniors from schools that have not previously participated will be eligible for opening/closing number and lead actor/actress adjudication.
  • All students from schools that have not previously participated will be eligible for our newly added Musical Theatre workshops.
  • In both instances, we will reach out to a teacher or administrator to connect with your school. The goal is to build a relationship with your school for future support and/or participation.

Is there a cost to participate?

  • There is no cost to participate in any aspect of the 2021 Orpheum High School Musical Theatre Awards.

If I am an Educator, can I get the judges' feedback from my school show from last year?

  • Many schools that were able to perform last year have asked for their feedback from last year’s adjudication process and should have received it by now.
  • If you have not yet received it, or would like to still request your feedback from last year, please email education@orpheum-memphis.com with the subject line: HSMTA 2020 Feedback. Please include your school name and show title from last year in the body of the email and we will get your feedback out to you.

What will the HSMTAs be like next year?

  • The program is evolving and strategy planning for 2022 is already underway. We will provide more concrete information as details develop.
  • We hope to engage a Teacher Advisory panel as we work to grow and develop the program. Educator input is invaluable and we hope to develop stronger relationships with teachers, directors, and arts champions at each school to better serve and support our young people and educators.

How can I find out more about additional Orpheum Education and Community Engagement programs and opportunities?

What if I have additional questions?

You can always email education@orpheum-memphis.com at any time with additional questions. We are here to help!

About the High School Musical Theatre Awards

The Orpheum High School Musical Theatre Awards supports, promotes, and enhances high school musical theatre throughout the Mid-South. Modeled after the Tony Awards®, the High School Musical Theatre Awards recognizes achievements in all areas of high school musical theatre and brings together hundreds of students from all over the region to share their talents and collaborate with one another.

This program is part of The Jimmy Awards®, the national high school musical theatre awards program produced by The Broadway League that includes over 40 programs from across the country.

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