Quantcast " "
top of page


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



  • Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Musical 

  • Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Musical

  • Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble

  • Outstanding Musical Performance

  • Spotlight Awards for a cast member not in a qualifying role from each school

Award Categories


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 Musical 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.



Productions must happen by April 30, 2024 to be considered. Applications must be received 4 weeks prior to your performance. As part of your online application, you must provide a copy of your license agreement and receipt of royalty payment. 

Once your application has been submitted, you will receive an email with instruction to provide the following a cast list which should include student names, phone number, email address and t-shirt size.

If you do not have 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@okcbrodway.com.

School 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:*


Kelli O'Hara Awards Week, May 28-31, 2024

NHSMTA Week, June 2024

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.

Student Process


  • 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.

*Please note that proof of vaccination requirement is not currently determined for the 2023 Jimmy Awards. While it is not required by the Kelli Awards at this time, please note it may become a future requirement for participation.



Three 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 performer emotionally present?

Commitment - Did the performer 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.

Adjudication Process


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

20 finalists will be announced via OKC Broadway social media and by email. 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 and ensembles that include adults or children. 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; we just want to make sure that schools who build their own sets and costumes or who do not use additional members of the community 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.



Those seeking to participate in the 2024 Kelli O'Hara Awards should mark their calendars for the following dates. Additional dates will be added as more information becomes available.

April 30, 2024 - Adjudication Deadline

All performances must be scheduled prior to this date to be considered.

Friday, May 31 - The 2023 Kelli O'Hara Awards!

June 2023 - Jimmy's Week. Best Actor and Best Actress winners will go on to compete at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards at the end of the week. Actual dates TBA.


Rules, regulations and timelines subject to change at any time. KOHA staff will do their best to notify of any important changes as they occur.

OKC Broadway 5 No Byline.png
bottom of page