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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.

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 in The 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

  • Best Ensemble

  • Best Musical

  • Spotlight Awards for an ensemble member from each school



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.



All participating schools must complete the online form.



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: kelliawards@okcbroadway.com

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. 



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:*


Kelli O'Hara Awards Week, May 21-26, 2022

NHSMTA Week, June 18-28, 2022

All students will need to provide the following in their application:

  • Nominee Release/Waiver form and Parental Release Form

  • Current color headshot


The winners of the Kelli O'Hara Awards for Best Actress and Actor will participate in the 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 and be fully vaccinated.

  • Finalists will perform as a part of a in-person awards ceremony. Details will be given to finalists after announcement.

  • All decisions are final. 

  • If your show is double cast, please let us know so that adjudicators can be present at both performances.



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. 

Emotional Authenticity - Was the actor emotionally present?

Commitment - Did the actor maintain their character and energy throughout the production?


Diction - Could the performer be clearly understood?

Song Delivery - The ability to express the character through song with technical mastery.

Intonation - Pitch and musicality


Execution of Choreography - Demonstrates good sense of rhythm and technique

Physicality - Character emotions, experience, and behavior expressed through body language.


Overall Presentation

Spark - Exceptional stage presence. The ability to hold the adjudicators' attention. Star quality.



The adjudicators will use a 1-10 scoring model to critique the performances.

The winners will be announced at the Kelli O'Hara Awards ceremony.



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.



Thursday, May 5 - FINAL DEADLINE

Student applications must be turned in by Thursday, May 5. If we do not receive a student application for each of the qualifying roles/students seeking to participate in the Kelli O'Hara Awards, you will not be eligible.

Friday, May 13 - Finalists Announced via OKC Broadway social media

Saturday, May 21 - Second Round Auditions. Finalists will be provided more information via email.

Wednesday, May 25 - Ceremony Rehearsal. Finalists must be available to participate in the live ceremony and rehearsal.

Thursday,  May 26 - The 2022 Kelli O'Hara Awards!

June 18-28 - Jimmy's Week. Best Actor and Best Actress winners will go on to compete at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards during these dates.

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