Frequently Asked Questions
What is The Tommy Awards program?
The Tommy Awards program is an education initiative from Overture Center for the Arts, Madison’s downtown performing arts center, dedicated to engaging the community in the arts. The Tommy Awards program has two main goals:
1. To visibly and powerfully impact area high school students, their school communities and their families by encouraging and recognizing student excellence in musical theater productions.
2. To highlight the importance of theater arts education in high schools.
Is my school eligible to participate?
All high schools that produce a musical located within a 80 mile radius from Overture Center, located at 201 State Street, Madison, are eligible to participate. This includes the following counties: Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Lafayette, Rock, Sauk and parts of Grant, Milwaukee, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha
Furthermore, any schools that teach students who reside in one of these counties are eligible to participate. (For example, if your school is in Waukesha County but you teach students who live in Jefferson County, you ARE eligible to participate).
Productions entered must fall into one of the following categories:
1. A published musical, operetta or revue that is currently held by a licensing house in the public domain.
2. An original piece which features an original script, music and/or lyrics and which is covered under a valid copyright.
3. An original theatrical compilation of musical/text material from other sources that is presented with the approval or permission of the original creators and their representatives. This excludes show choir, choral or vocal jazz arrangements.
Musical productions must take place between July 1, 2013 and May 12, 2014.
Visit the How to Participate page to download an application.
Does the program require a big time commitment?
No – during the school year, there is no additional time commitment required from teachers. Overture will process your application and assign 3-4 reviewers to attend your musical’s production. All directors/teachers will need to be responsible for communicating information from Overture to their students and vice versa. Also, all directors/teachers and students should plan to attend rehearsals during the weekend of the final ceremony.
Some schools and individuals will be selected to perform during the awards ceremony in June, and directors/teachers from these schools will need to schedule rehearsals with their students on their own time prior to the awards ceremony.
For a complete listing of teacher/director responsibilities, visit the Rules and Guidelines page.
How much does the program cost?
There is a $50 application fee per school per year. There will be additional fees if your musical has multiple casts to be reviewed or if you school would like to participate in a Live Talk Back.
Other related programs, such as optional Making it on Broadway master classes during the year, may require additional registration fees.
What will the Final Awards Ceremony be like?
The Final Awards Ceremony will be a celebration of all the hard work that YOU have done this year! There will be award presentations throughout the show, with multiple recipients in each category. Schools that receive awards will be invited to nominate one person to accept the award on stage. There will not be any acceptance speeches.
In between award presentations, schools receiving the Outstanding Musical award will perform medleys highlighting their shows and students receiving the Outstanding Musical Number award will perform their scene. Outstanding Lead Performer recipients will perform solos in groups and there will also be a number for all the Outstanding Supporting and Dance performers as well as a finale number, which Outstanding Lead and Supporting Performer, and Outstanding Dancer recipients will perform. These students will be asked to attend additional rehearsals in order to prepare for this production number. All music accompaniment will be provided by a live band.
Every award recipient and school will know that they are receiving an award in advance of the final ceremony.
How can I buy tickets for the final awards ceremony?
Tickets will be available online, by calling 608.258.4141, or in person at the Overture Center Ticket Office (201 State Street).
How can I help?
Overture Center depends on support from individuals, foundations and corporations! If you would like to support the Tommy Awards program as a donor or volunteer, please contact Tim Sauers at 608.258.4420 or [email protected].