What is the mission of the DSM HSMTA program?

The program’s mission is to recognize, reward and encourage talent and achievement in musical theater among high school students in the greater North Texas region. DSM HSMTA highlights the importance of musical theater and arts education.

How are the winners of DSM HSMTA selected?

A panel of three DSM-selected judges will attend and score each participating production based on detailed guidelines. When all of the evaluations have been received, a final meeting of ALL DSM HSMTA adjudicators will take place to review the productions and view taped excerpts of the qualifying musicals to complete the scoring process. Scores will be tabulated and certified by BDO, a certified public accounting firm. The highest score will determine the winner in each category and winners will be announced during the awards ceremony May 14th, 2020.

What are the DSM HSMTA categories?

  • Best Musical
  • Best Actor
  • Best Actress
  • Best Supporting Actor
  • Best Supporting Actress
  • Best Featured Performer
  • Best Ensemble/Chorus
  • Best Student Orchestra
  • Best Choreography 
  • Best Directon
  • Best Musical Direction
  • Best Costume Design
  • Best Scenic Design
  • Best Lighting Design
  • Best Crew/ Technical Execution
  • DSM HSMTA Spirit Award
  • Outstanding Educator Award

Who are the DSM HSMTA Judges?

Dallas Summer Musicals has recruited a panel of adjudicators consisting of qualified arts professionals to serve as The DSM HSMTA judges. Judges were required to attend a mandatory meeting in the fall that provided an extensive orientation of the program and the evaluation process. Judges evaluate how well a school does, based on that school’s unique resources and challenges. The awards criterion emphasizes achievement, not budget or size of production.

What happens at the Awards Ceremony?

The DSM HSMTA program culminates at the Music Hall with an awards ceremony, modeled after the Tony Awards®, to recognize outstanding musical theater productions and students. Winners will be announced for each category. The ceremony will also entertain the audience with production numbers from the eight shows nominated for Best Musical. Finalists for Best Actor and Best Actress will also perform medleys from their nominated roles. Additionally, all students nominated for individual categories will perform in the opening number and two students from each participating school will perform in the closing numbers. A full orchestra will accompany all of these performances, with music direction and choreography by local theatre professionals.

Are there other programs like this around the Country?

Yes! 38 other cities across the country similar programs. Patterned after Broadway’s Tony® Awards, a competition for high school musicals was conceived 20 years ago by Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera. Since then, the concept has spread across the nation, and in 2009, an annual national awards program, The Jimmy Awards, named after James M. Nederlander, chairman of the Nederlander Producing Company of America, was created to provide a week of professional training in New York for students named best actor and best actress at the regional awards.