Dr. Phillips Center Announces 8th Annual Applause Awards to Honor Excellence in High School Musicals


The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts will celebrate top high school musical talent at its 8th Annual Applause Awards 2022 on Saturday, June 4 at the Walt Disney Theater. Inspired by the Tony Awards®, the Applause Awards will be conducted by Broadway veteran Ray Roderick and hosted by award-winning Broadway and TV actress/singer Rachel York.

A panel of 30 casting agents from across the state selected nearly 400 students from 30 high schools and nine counties to participate in this high-energy evening featuring live performances from the winners in the Outstanding Music category, and culminating with the announcement of the outstanding leader. Male and female performers. Ten thousand dollar scholarships will be awarded to seniors heading to college.

“Through programs like the Applause Awards, high school students have the opportunity to launch their careers at the arts center,” said Kathy Ramsberger, president and CEO of the Dr. Phillips Center. “They can train close to home, perform on stage with live audiences, be scouted by talented professionals, and secure opportunities to compete with the best in their classes across the country.”

The outstanding lead performers will continue to represent Florida among 92 entrants at the National High School Musical Theater Awards™, known as The Jimmy Awards®, for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in New York City. At the Jimmy Awards finale, a set of panelists select two students for the coveted Best Performance by an Actor and Best Performance by an Actress awards – and two teachers from the secondary schools represented will also receive the Inspiring Teacher Award for their advice and inspiration.

The 2022 Applause Awards return to in-person programming at the Dr. Phillips Center for the first time in two seasons under the leadership of Roderick, who is best known for adapt the Broadway script for Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang for their first national tour of the United States, a tour of the United Kingdom and a tour of Australia. He also wrote and directed That’s wonderful ! Gershwin’s New Musicaland more recently wrote the book and lyrics of Brooklyn Bridge, a new musical, and directed the first production at Montclair State University. He was associate director of A Christmas Carol at Madison Square Garden for six years.

Roderick will be joined by the show’s honorary host, York, an Orlando native who is best known for his stage roles in Heald Over Heels. City of Angels, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Les Misérables, Victor/Victoria, Kiss Me, Kate, Sly Fox, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Anything Goes.

The full list of entrants for the 2022 Applause Awards, supported by AdventHealth Orlando, Chick-fil-A, Arts & Culture Division, Isermann Family Foundation and Walmart Store #3817, is available here.

Tickets are on sale at drphillipscenter.org. Media tickets and coverage opportunities are also available by contacting Julia Gilbert at [email protected]

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