The Marquee Awards

Celebrating High School Musical Theater in Our Community

The Marquee Awards are dedicated to supporting the talents, education, and opportunities of high school theatre students in East Tennessee to build a strong and inclusive theatre community.

The Tennessee Theatre is excited to announce that we will be hosting the first-ever Marquee Awards on May 11, 2024 at the Tennessee Theatre. This program will consist of three pieces:

  • Adjudication - A panel of knowledgeable theatre lovers attend each school’s musical and provide feedback on the performance.
  • Nomination - Schools and individuals receive awards that honor achievements in performance, technical and creative categories, at an Awards Ceremony held at the Tennessee Theatre. Some nominees will also have the opportunity to perform at the Awards Ceremony.
  • Education - Partnering with Clarence Brown Theatre, nominees will participate in a day of workshops and masterclasses led by University of Tennessee artists and professors before attending the Awards Ceremony. Participating schools will also be the first to know about additional educational opportunities such as masterclasses and workshops.

The Tennessee Theatre’s membership in The Broadway League, allows the two Marquee Award Outstanding Lead Actor and Actress winners to attend The Jimmy Awards®, a national celebration of outstanding student achievement, recognizing individual artistry in vocal, dance, and acting performance and elevating the importance of theatre arts education in schools.

For more information about awards categories, adjudication rubrics, rules and regulations, and more, please visit the FAQ's below. If you still have questions, please contact Mary Adkins

We are no longer accepting registrations for the 2023-24 school year. 


We are Thankful to the Following Partners:



Interested in becoming a partner? Contact Nicki Collett for more information about sponsoring or supporting this event!

Detailed information regarding the rules and regulations of the Marquee Awards can be found here

In addition to the required Outstanding Overall Musical, Outstanding Lead Actress, and Outsanding Lead Actor, we will nominate students for a variety of categories recognizing their accomplishments in performing, backstage work, set design, costume design, and more. A full list of categories can be found here.

This program will be completely free for schools and students to participate. However, schools and/or students will be responsible for transportation and some meals on the ceremony day.

At this time, only schools presenting full-length musicals on the Qualifying Shows and Roles List are able to participate.

Each year, the National High School Musical Theatre Awards release a list of Qualifying Shows and Roles. While this list is updated each year, typically shows are added rather than removed. You can view the list for the 2023 National Awards here, and we will update the list for the 2024 Awards as soon as it is released. Schools must perform the entire full-length productions from this list. Shows must be adjudicated by April 18, 2024 to be eligible for the awards.

To keep the competition fair, judges are selected from outside resources and are not staff members of the hosting theater or organization. This provides a wonderful opportunity to encourage involvement from other cultural and educational institutions within our region. Our judges include educators (not high school level), theatre professionals, board members, and other community members with a knowledge of and interest in musical theatre. The commitment of these volunteers provides the schools with invaluable feedback about their performances, which can help them to improve each year.

The objective of this independent panel of judges is to provide a fair analysis of each school's performance, determine nominees and select winners in each category. Each judge will use a consistent rubric, found here, to evaluate shows.

One finalist from each school will be chosen in the categories of Outstanding Lead Actor and Outstanding Lead Actress and will participate in a second round of adjudication on April 23, 2024. These finalists must have performed roles from the National High School Musical Theatre Awards list of eligible shows and roles. At this audition, finalists will sing 16 bars from the eligible role that they performed during their school’s musical, as well as participate in a dance call for our panel of judges. Some Outstanding Supporting Actor and Actress finalists may be asked to participate in these auditions as well if their role is eligible for the National High School Musical Theatre Awards.

Schools within a 2-hour driving distance of the Tennessee Theatre are eligible for participation. If you are not located within this radius, you can find other participating regional programs here.

Participating schools will be notified of nominations via email on April 24, 2024.

If you have any other questions regarding The Marquee Awards, please contact Mary Adkins at [email protected].