The Kelli O’Hara Awards were created by OKC Broadway to celebrate outstanding achievement in Oklahoma high school musical theatre. The program highlights the exceptional students and teachers who devote their time and passion to making a home in their schools for the performing arts.
Schools may participate in one of two ways:
If a school is doing a live production, they will be able to send in a video of their production, and have their students performing in a qualifying role submit a self-tape of a solo song from their role to be considered for Best Actress/Best Actor categories.
If a school is not doing a live production, they will be able to submit up to two students for the Best Actor and up to two students for the Best Actress category.
Twenty finalists will perform as part of the Virtual Kelli O'Hara Awards Ceremony and compete for the opportunity to move on to the national level.
OKC Broadway is a regional provider of The National High School Musical Theatre Awards (AKA “The Jimmys”), a program that unites high school musical theatre awards programs from around the country. The winners of the Kelli O’Hara Awards for Best Actress and Actor will participate virtually in National High School Theatre Awards, where they will receive professional training and compete with winners from dozens of other regional programs to a national audience.
To recognize extraordinary achievement in musical theatre at the high school level
To advocate for arts education in schools
To foster a lifelong love of the performing arts in students and in the community
Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical
Best Performance by an Actor in a Musical
Spotlight Awards for an ensemble member from each school
CHANGES TO THE 2020-21 AWARDS
We understand that schools and students are facing unique new challenges during the COVID-19 epidemic and are making a number of one-time adjustments to our process in order to accommodate as many students as possible during this awards year.*
In lieu of adjudicating live performances, students in qualifying roles will submit self-taped performances of a solo song from their qualifying role.
Schools will submit a recording of their performance (if available) which will be adjudicated for best Ensemble, Best Musical, and Spotlight awards. If no recording is available, the school will not be eligible for these awards but this does not impact the qualifying roles' ability to submit.
Schools who are unable to put on a production may have their Theatre Teacher/Director submit up to two male and up to two female students to perform a self-taped audition song from one of the approved qualifying roles (see link under Eligibility).
Similarly to last year, we will have a virtual ceremony announcing the award winners and featuring all finalists.
Students who win Best Actor and Best Actress will go on to participate in the National High School Theatre Awards, which will be held virtually this year.
The Kelli O’Hara Awards program is open to public and private high schools producing musical theatre in Central and Western Oklahoma. To verify if your school is within our region, view our region list. Only shows and roles found on the National High School Music Theatre Awards qualifying roles list* will be considered. The list can be found on the National Awards website.
SCHOOL APPLICATION PROCESS
All participating schools must complete the online form.
YOUR SCHOOL MUST BE REGISTERED IN ORDER FOR A STUDENT TO BE CONSIDERED FOR A BEST ACTOR/ACTRESS AWARD.
For schools with Productions:
If you do not have the dates set for your show, please let us know on your application and notify the awards coordinator via email as soon as your dates are finalized at: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to the online application, you will be required to submit the following prior to opening night.
A copy of your licensing agreement
Receipt of royalty payment
You will also be required to send us an unedited, full-length video recording of your production no later than the Wednesday following your production. If you will be unable to record your production, please let us know at least four weeks in advance so that we can make arrangements to have it recorded.
The quality of the recording will NOT be factored into your score.
For Schools without a Production:
In order for students to be considered not in conjunction with a school production, their school's Theatre Teacher/Director must fill out the application and may submit up to two male and up to two female students.
STUDENT APPLICATION PROCESS
Students wishing to be considered for the Best Actress or Actor award, must submit their application separately from the school application. The application is available here.
ALL PARTICIPANTS must be available on the following dates:*
Thursday, May 20-Monday, May 24, 2021
NHSMTA Week, dates to be confirmed between June 20-July 1, 2021
All students will need to provide the following in their application:
Nominee Release/Waiver form and Parental Release Form
Current color headshot
The top 20 finalists will be announced the week of April 19th.* ALL FINALISTS will be required to submit the following materials by Friday, May 7th:
The winners of the Kelli O'Hara Awards for Best Actress and Actor will participate in the virtual National High School Theatre Awards, where they will receive professional training and compete with winners from dozens of other regional programs to a national audience.
The Best Actor and Actress nominees must be currently enrolled in high school in the Kelli O'Hara Awards region, grades 9-12.
Students may only be judged on the video submission provided, regardless of whether or not their school is submitting a full performance.
Finalists will perform as a part of a virtual awards ceremony by submitting a pre-recorded medley. Details will be given to finalists after announcement.
All decisions are final.
If your show is double cast, please be prepared to submit videos of both performances.
Specific guidelines for video submissions can be found here.
THE ADJUDICATION PROCESS
Students will be judged solely on the audition video submitted, regardless of whether their school also submits a submission of a full performance. Four to five adjudicators will evaluate the performances and the overall production.*
Adjudicators will look for the following qualities:
Character Development - Demonstrates the arc of the character through the solo song.
Diction - Could the performer be clearly understood?
Song Delivery - The ability to express the character through song with technical mastery.
Intonation - Pitch and musicality
Physicality - Character emotions, experience, and behavior expressed through body language.
Spark - Exceptional stage presence. The ability to hold the adjudicators' attention. Star quality.
The adjudicators will use a 1-5 scoring model to critique the performances.
The winners will be announced at the virtual Kelli O'Hara Awards ceremony.
RENTALS/ADULT ARTISTS/STUDENT DESIGNERS
We recognize there is a wide range of budgetary considerations across the various schools. In the interest of maintaining scoring equity, our adjudication model will account for rented sets and costumes. Please notify the Kelli O’Hara awards if you plan to rent some or all your costumes and/or set. You will not be penalized for using rentals; we just want to make sure that schools who build their own sets and costumes are not placed at a disadvantage. If you do build your own sets and/or costumes, please let us know if they will be designed by an adult or a student.
Additionally, please notify the Kelli O’Hara Awards if you will be casting any adults, using adults in the orchestra, or have adult designers for lighting, audio, scenic , costumes, or props. That will be considered as well.
December 1-April 14
All applications and video submission from both schools and students must be submitted during this window. We encourage everyone to submit sooner rather than later as we may close the window once a certain number of submissions are received.*
Kelli O'Hara Virtual Ceremony
Week of April 19
June 20-July 1
TBD - Mid-Late July
*Subject to change