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Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards Participants Increase to 28 Schools in 2014-2015

October 20, 2014

Des Moines Performing Arts today announced that 28 Iowa high schools representing nearly 2,000 students will participate in the 2014-2015 Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards. The Awards, now in its third year, celebrate the outstanding achievements of young musical theater artists from high schools throughout most of the state.

“We’re excited, once again, to be to celebrating the incredible talent of Iowa’s young musical theater performers,” said Des Moines Performing Arts Director of Programming and Education, Eric Olmscheid. “The Iowa High Musical Theater Awards elevates the arts in our schools, creating an unmatched opportunity to recognize student achievements in musical theater in a non-competitive format.”

The Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards is a year-long education initiative launched by Des Moines Performing Arts in the fall of 2012. Throughout the school year, performing arts professionals and educators serve as adjudicators to review musical productions and offer constructive feedback to each of the participating high schools.

Based on the adjudicators’ feedback, students and productions will be honored at an end-of-year Awards Showcase at the Des Moines Civic Center. Students and productions are acknowledged in several different categories including: Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Lead and Supporting Performers, Outstanding Ensemble and Outstanding Technical Achievement.

Last year, 17 high schools participated in the Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards. This year, all high schools within 125 miles of Des Moines Performing Arts were invited to participate. The 28 participating schools and their productions include:

  • Ankeny Centennial High School — To be announced
  • Bondurant-Farrar High School — To be announced
  • Carlisle High School — THE MUSIC MAN
  • Centerville High School — THE WIZARD OF OZ
  • City High School (Iowa City) — GREASE
  • Dallas Center - Grimes High School — FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
  • Dowling Catholic High School (West Des Moines) — To be announced
  • East High School (Des Moines) — ANNIE
  • Forest City High School — FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
  • Grand View Christian School (Altoona) — To be announced
  • Hampton-Dumont High School — THE MUSIC MAN
  • Hoover High School (Des Moines) — ONCE ON THIS ISLAND
  • Hudson High School — DISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
  • Indianola High School — To be announced
  • John F. Kennedy High School (Cedar Rapids) — To be announced
  • Mount Vernon High School — FOOTLOOSE
  • Nevada High School — FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
  • North Polk High School (Alleman) — ONCE UPON A MATTRESS
  • Pella Christian High School — THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL
  • Perry High School — HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL
  • Roosevelt High School (Des Moines) — HAIRSPRAY
  • Union High School (La Porte City) — CATCH ME IF YOU CAN
  • Urbandale High School — CAROUSEL
  • Valley High School (West Des Moines) — To be announced
  • Washington High School (Cedar Rapids) — WEST SIDE STORY
  • Waukee High School — To be announced
  • Williamsburg High School — GREASE

Olmscheid said the intent of the Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards is not about competition but about celebrating exceptional student achievement in musical theater.

“The awards are based on merit. Multiple honorees may be recognized in the same category as performances warrant,” he said. “As we witnessed last year, the celebratory nature of the program allowed the participating schools to support each other’s efforts and successes. We hope to foster that spirit of camaraderie and encouragement again this year.”

The Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards Showcase will be held on June 1, 2015 at the Civic Center and will feature entertainment from 350 high school students representing their schools’ musical productions. They will share excerpts from their musical productions and collaborative inter-school medleys while being recognized for their outstanding achievements.

For more information about the Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards, visit, desmoinesperformingarts.org/education/k-12/musical-theater.php.

About Des Moines Performing Arts

Des Moines Performing Arts is a private not-for-profit organization celebrating 35 years of presenting the performing arts to Iowa and the surrounding states on three stages in Des Moines — the Civic Center, the Stoner Theater and the Temple Theater. The organization also operates Cowles Commons (formerly Nollen Plaza), a longtime Des Moines landmark currently under redesign and renovation. Des Moines Performing Arts is a presenter of major Broadway and educational touring companies, performers and groups, and is home to many local and regional groups, including the Des Moines Symphony. All performances of the Broadway Series are supported by Willis Auto Campus. All performances at the Temple Theater are supported by Prairie Meadows. All performances of the Family Series are supported by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield. For more information, visit DesMoinesPerformingArts.org.