Please Note: Performances of My Fair Lady are scheduled for August 2-7 of next year (2022). View Details


Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards



Please see your musical director for information on upcoming virtual learning opportunities!


As part of our ongoing efforts to elevate students' voices in shaping IHSMTA and to forge meaningful connections between theater students across the state, this year we are introducing 'affinity groups' as a new arm of our learning opportunities.

These opt-in groups will provide an opportunity for students to forge connections with peers sharing similar interests or experiences, learn from a mentor/facilitator whose background or expertise intersects with the group's topic, and to influence IHSMTA programming through suggesting learning opportunities and program initiatives responsive to their needs and interests.

Affinity groups for this introductory year are:

  • BIPOC, facilitated by Tiffany Johnson (Artistic Director, Pyramid Theater Company)
  • LGBTQIA2S+, facilitated by Brad Dell (Director of Theatre, Iowa State University)
  • Technical Theater, facilitated by Janet Albanese (Director of Production and Building Services, Des Moines Performing Arts)

Meetings start in January and run through May. Students are welcome to join at any time!

For more information including meeting schedule and online registration form, see your musical director.


Students serving in technical, creative and business roles may apply to be considered for an award to recognize their contributions to their school musical productions. For more information on what areas or roles can apply, what students need to do to be considered for an award, and how to apply, please see the Technical, Creative and Business Achievement Awards Application Overview document. 

Portfolios deadlines are based on school musical performance dates as follows:

  • September through November productions – Portfolios due by November 30, 2020 at 4 PM
  • December through March productions – Portfolios due by April 5, 2021 at 4 PM
  • April and May productions – Portfolios due by April 26, 2021 at 4 PM (If May productions would like an extension, please contact IHSMTA program staff prior to April 26, 2021.)


While the primary focus of the Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards is to celebrate student achievements, adults also make tremendous contributions to school drama programs and make a lasting impact on students. The Impact Award is a student-nominated award presented to an adult who leads and/or supports their school’s productions. This award provides an avenue to recognize educators or community members, such as parent volunteers, who go above and beyond to support the high school musical experience.

To be considered, a current student or group of students must complete the nomination process online. If submitting a nomination as a group of students, please identify one student to serve as the primary contact for the nomination. All nominations must be completed and received by the extended deadline of March 31, 2021.

The nomination process consists of the following components:

  1. 1-2 page essay written by the nominating student describing how the nominee goes above and beyond to make a positive impact on students’ experience in their high school musical.
  2. Written testimonials from three to six individuals who have worked directly with the nominee on one or more school musical production(s). Testimonials may come from, but are not limited to: current high school students, alumni of the school’s drama program, production staff, other adults that work on productions with this mentor, school administrators, parents. Each testimonial should be no more than 300 words.

Nominations should be submitted online HERE


Sponsored by Doug & Debbie West

The Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards Technical Theater Scholarship is open to students advancing their theater training as a technical theater major or minor. Annually, one student will be awarded a $10,000 scholarship to be applied towards tuition at an accredited college/university. The scholarship is to be distributed $2,500 per year, renewable for up to four years pending qualifying academic status.

For more information, portfolio elements, and how to apply, please see the IHSMTA Technical Theater Scholarship Overview document.

All application portfolio materials are due FRIDAY, APRIL 30, 2021 by 5 PM. Late applications will not be accepted.