Nashville High School Musical Theatre Awards

In partnership with the Tennessee Performing Arts Center

Nashville Musical Theatre Awards, or "The Nashies," has been a huge success for the past three years. Last year, we had 18 schools, totaling 600 students, participate in this exciting program dedicated to honoring the talents, friendships and educational endeavors of Nashville high school theatre programs. This year we are pleased and excited to announce our partnership with the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, which will make the awards even bigger and better than ever.  Thanks to this partnership, The Nashies can now send the top male and female performer to New York city to participate in the National High School Musical Theatre Awards or the Jimmy Awards.  This is a fun filled and challenging 10 day event featuring the most talented high school actors from all over the country. This partnership is also important because TPAC has graciously offered to host the Nashies awards ceremony this year.  Imagine an awesome day of workshops culminating with your students performing on the Jackson stage at TPAC.

Through this program, area high schools are invited to submit one musical per school year. We then send three adjudicators to view a performance, including a Nashville theatre professional, a Lipscomb University faculty member and a student from the theatre department. On Saturday, May 13, all participating schools are invited to Lipscomb’s campus for a day of workshops taught by industry professionals, and to an awards ceremony at TPAC hosted by a special guest. Past hosts have included Broadway actor, Chuck Wagner and American Idol performer, Melinda Doolittle.

We seek to recognize exemplary work of all participating schools. Awards include best actor and actress, best show, best direction, all-star cast and crew and many other exciting awards. Lipscomb University Theatre will also be presenting two $2,500 scholarships, one in acting and one in technical theatre, to study theatre at Lipscomb.

For inquiries and questions concerning the MTAs, please contact our staff through email at


Below are the registration prices.  Note that the Early Bird price and Late Registration prices are new this year.  Take advantage of the Early Bird discount and register your show before Sept. 30, 2016.

Early Bird Registration $210 if received by September 30, 2016
General Registration $250 if received by November 30, 2016
Late Registration $290 if received by January 30, 2017

Schools registering after January 30 may still register (late registration price) if there are spots available.  

For 2016-2017, the max number of schools participating in the adjudication process and the workshops will be 40.  Each school is allowed 40 students to attend the workshops, unless early requests are made to allow for more.  Each school will be allowed a maximum of 10 adult chaperones for the workshops.  

The top 20 schools (ranked by their scores from adjudication) will be invited to perform in the ceremony at TPAC.  All registered schools will be invited to attend the ceremony.  Tickets to the ceremony will be provided for all students (up to 40) and chaperones (up to 10) who are registered with the Nashies by March 1.  Any additional seats may be purchased at TPAC.

Any school wishing to apply for a sponsorship may inquire at


To enter, please complete the online registration and payment. This is the preferred registration, but if you wish to send a check for payment, please first fill out the registration form online, and then mail a check made out to Lipscomb University Theatre to the following address:

Kari Smith, Lipscomb University Theatre Department
One University Park Dr, Nashville, TN 37204

Enter Now

Once we receive your completed registration, we will coordinate a team of adjudicators to view one of your performances. They will each have a rubric that will be the scoring for the show. Their completed rubric will be sent to you after the performance. If you would like an oral critique after the performance, you may ask for one. At the end of the school year, we will compile the critiques and scores from each show to determine the awards for the festival. While we do not encourage a spirit of competition, we do want to recognize performers and productions for outstanding work.

We will require each school to complete additional registration information by March 1.  Each school will receive more information on additional registration and the specific details of the awards day. 

The Jimmy Awards in NYC

The Nashies will send the qualifying Best Actor and Actress to New York City to be a part of the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, or the Jimmy Awards. This takes place every summer in June, and it is a ten day event full of rehearsing, performing, and taking in the sights of NYC. Students who qualify receive a scholarship from TPAC and The Nashies for the travel, registration, and lodging for the ten day event. We also provide a chaperone for the duration of the trip. The 2017 dates have not yet been released, so check back here soon for more information. Until then, visit the website for The Jimmy Awards for more info:

A Sample Itinerary

Saturday, May 13, 2017

  • 9-9:30 a.m.—Registration
  • 9:30-9:45 a.m.—Welcome in Collins Auditorium
  • 10-10:50 a.m.—Workshop Session 1
  • 11-11:50 a.m.—Workshop Session 2
  • 11:50 a.m-1:30 p.m—Lunch (on your own)
  • 1:30-2:20 p.m.—Workshop Session 3
  • 2:30-3:20 p.m.Workshop Session 4
  • 3:30-4 p.m.Panel of Theatre Professionals/Q and A
  • 4-4:30 p.m.—Schools transition to TPAC
  • 4:30-5:45 p.m.Sound Check
  • 4:30-6:45 p.m.Dinner (on own)
  • 7-9:30 p.m.Awards Ceremony downtown at TPAC
  • 9:30-10:30 p.m.Dessert Reception

Last possible show date for adjudication is April 29, 2017.

Contact Us

For information, contact our team at or 615.966.7111. Once we receive your information and registration, we will send you detailed information about our visit to your school as well as how to register each of your students for the May 13 event. 

We look forward to your participation! 

May 14 Workshop Examples (specific titles and clinicians TBA)

Masterclass With Host:
Come ready to work on material with this year’s Nashville Musical Theatre Award’s host. Bring a 32 bar cut of a song you’d like to workshop and receive constructive feedback on your performance from a seasoned professional…to be announced.

Improv acting/sketch comedy:
This workshop will challenge you to think on your feet and stretch your abilities through scene work, games and exercises. These skills are necessary for all types of performers and will taught by Nashville’s best! Bring clothes you can move in and a willingness to try and have fun.

Dance workshops:
Students will learn a short but fast paced dance combo and experience what it is like to go to a professional dance call. Multiple dance styles will be offered from local professional dancers and choreographers. No prior dance experience required...just come ready to take risks and have fun. Dress in something that you can move in, and wear jazz shoes or tennis shoes.

Technical Theatre:
Explore how to be a part of the storytelling whether you are on or off stage in this hands on workshop. Great for techies as well as for actors who want to build stronger ties with crew members and learn what life is like from the booth and wings. Learn lingo and the basic training for soundboards, light boards and more from experienced technical theatre artists.

Audition workshop:
Have an audition coming up? Do you want feedback on your audition package? This workshop will explore the entire audition process. Expect to learn useful, constructive, and candid insight on everything from: acting a song, headshots and resumes, audition attire, entering a room, song choices, working with accompanists, and more. If students are interesting in participating they must prepare one 16 bar cut of a song within their key. They must also bring a headshot and resume for review. This workshop is especially helpful for all who are planning on auditioning for any type of production or college program in the near future.

Cold read workshop:
Calling all students interested in film and TV work. This is the workshop for you! Learn what a typical film audition looks like through exploring the art of mastering cold reads. Students will be given scripts and will take part in a mock audition where they will also receive immediate feedback. All levels of experience welcome.

Clinicians and Adjudicators

Sample of awards given at the May 13 ceremony

  • Best Chorus Or Ensemble
  • Best Dancing
  • Best Overall Design Concept
  • Best Overall Tech
  • Best Costumes
  • Best Lighting
  • Best Set
  • Best Choreography
  • Best Direction
  • Best Show
  • Best Male And Female Soloist
  • Best Featured Male And Female Dancer
  • Best Dramatic Actor And Actress
  • Best Comedic Actor And Actress
  • Best Male And Female Supporting Role
  • Best Male And Female Ensemble