Roger Rees Awards
Frequently Asked Questions

When is the 2019-2020 Roger Rees Awards?

The Roger Rees Awards for Excellence in Student Performance features two (2) essential components:

Saturday, May 16, 2020: The Roger Rees Awards coaching and rehearsals

Sunday, May 17, 2020: The Roger Rees Awards showcase and ceremony

What high schools are eligible to participate in the Roger Rees Awards?

All public and/or private high schools located in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, as well as Nassau, Orange, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester counties that have presented an officially licensed, full-length production of a NHSMTA®’s approved Broadway musical during the 2019-2020 academic year, can enroll their production in the award program. School edition/versions of musicals are also permitted. For a comprehensive list of NHSMTA® approved productions, CLICK HERE.

Note: “Junior” versions are not eligible for award consideration. Junior versions are usually referred to as: G2K (Getting to Know Series), Young @ Part, Middle School Editions (from 101 School Editions), Broadway Jr., and Young Performers. Concert versions are also not eligible.

How do I register my school production in the Roger Rees Awards?

The link to register for 2019-2020 award participation form can be found on the program’s official website, Your school must complete registration no later than Friday, January 31, 2020.

Which students are eligible to participate in the Roger Rees Awards?

To be eligible for consideration in The Roger Rees Awards for Excellence in Student Performance, a student must perform in a qualifying male or female role in an officially licensed, full-length production of a NHSMTA®’s approved Broadway musical during the 2019-2020 academic year. For a comprehensive list of NHSMTA qualifying roles, CLICK HERE.

How many students can our school submit for consideration of the Roger Rees Award?

All students playing qualifying roles in school productions registered in the program can be adjudicated. Adjudicators can submit scores for up to eight (8) students per school.

Our high school production has two casts and we want students from both to be considered. What do we do?

Students playing qualifying leading roles in both casts are eligible to be scored by the adjudicators. However, the Roger Rees Awards will only consider scores for eight (8) students per school. It is the responsibility of the teacher to identify the eight students that will be adjudicated and provide those names to the adjudicators.

How does the adjudication/nomination process work?

The Broadway League Foundation, the sponsor of the National High School Musical Theatre Awards®, mandates that regional award programs establish in-person adjudication by qualified theatre professionals for all participating school productions.

In accordance with this eligibility requirement, the Roger Rees Awards has instituted an adjudication process whereby each participating school identifies three (3) credentialed and impartial theatre professionals to serve as the Roger Rees Awards adjudicators of their high school production. These adjudicators must attend the production and score the performance of each eligible student based on the official Roger Rees Awards rubric.

Adjudicators must submit scores no more than four (4) business days following the performance date. All scores must be submitted no later than Sunday, May 3, 2020 at 9:00 pm to be considered.

What are the required qualifications for a Roger Rees Awards adjudicator?

To avoid any conflict of interest, an adjudicator must not have an official affiliation with your school. An affiliation is defined as a paid or contractual position with the school or the production. Furthermore, the adjudicator cannot have a professional or familial relationship with any member of the cast or production team.

An adjudicator for the Roger Rees Awards must be an industry professional who has at least one of the following qualifications:

  • A degree or professional certification in music, theatre, dance or other aspect of the performing arts;
  • Membership in one of the Broadway industry unions or guilds, with at least 5 years of experience in the professional theatre;
  • At least 5 years of experience as a teacher or teaching artist of any aspect of the performing arts at the high school or college level;
  • An industry professional with at least 5 years of experience in theater arts education, audience development and/or youth enrichment.

Where can I find qualified adjudicators?

Many industry professionals are happy to adjudicate student productions. We recommend contacting the performing arts college or university in your area and speak to department chairs for recommendations. They will often make members of their faculty available for this purpose. You can also call the professional theatre company in your area and/or contact the NY Thespians for referrals.

Do adjudicators need to be paid?

The Roger Rees Awards does not require adjudicators to be paid. However, it is a standard practice in the industry to offer at minimum a reimbursement for mileage or travel expenses.

How many students will participate in the Roger Rees Awards?

Now in its 10th year, the Roger Rees Awards (previously the Gershwin Awards) is growing in visibility and prestige. Over one hundred schools throughout the Greater New York area register their production which qualifies hundreds of student performers to participate in the program. As a result, it is important to understand that not every school production is guaranteed to have one or more student actors represented in the final competition for the Roger Rees Award. No school will have more than two (2) students selected for the program.

What role do parents play in the Roger Rees Awards?

For participation in The Roger Rees Awards a teacher and/or representative of the school’s musical production must register the school. Parents of eligible students cannot enroll the production. However, once a school is registered and eligible students are identified by the teacher, a parent/legal guardian must complete a student registration. This registration grants permission for the student to participate and be adjudicated.

How does the Roger Rees Awards select nominees and winners?

The Roger Rees Awards administrative team collects the scores submitted from all registered adjudicators who have evaluated students performing qualifying leading roles and whose parents have granted permission for them to participate in the program. The three scores provided for each student is tallied. In the event, a student does not receive a completed score from three adjudicators, the student will receive a median score across all categories.

Once all scores for all students have been ranked, the Roger Rees Awards nominees will be the top fifty (50) scoring students, twenty-five (25) men and twenty-five (25) women, out of the total number of students. These award nominees will be invited to participate in the 2-day long performance enrichment program sponsored by the awards. Award nominees will learn group production numbers and participate in master classes with a team of experienced Broadway coaches who will help each student hone his/her performance skills. This 8-member team of Roger Rees Awards coaches and musical directors will select the twelve (12) Roger Rees Award finalists.

The Roger Rees Awards showcase will feature all fifty (50) nominees in a musical opening and closing, as well as solo performances from the twelve (12) Roger Rees Awards finalists who will be named during the show. A 5-member panel of industry professionals will judge the finalists’ performance and select the Roger Rees Award winners for Best Actor and Best Actress in a Musical. These two students will represent the Greater New York metro area at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards®.

Who can attend the awards event?

The Roger Rees Awards will be held annually at an area high school to promote the importance of musical theatre in education. Attendance is open to the public, but the seating capacity will vary from school to school. Production details and ticketing information will be posted on prior to the awards showcase.

Does the Roger Rees Awards offer other award categories beyond performance?

The Advisory Board is collaborating with industry partners on the development of an award portfolio that incorporates various aspects of the theatre industry. Additional awards/contests include:

  • The PLAYBILLder™ Award for Marketing to recognize excellence in program publishing
  • Theatre is Education Excellence in Journalism Award
  • “You Will Be Found” College Essay Writing Challenge

Visit for more award information.