Applause Awards Program

Celebrate Central Florida's most talented students.

Dr. Phillips Center AdventHealth performing arts classes

Congratulations to our Applause Awards 2020 nominees—representing the best of Central Florida's student musical theater. See all the nominees here.

Recognizing everyone from set and costume designers to lead actors and actresses, the Applause Awards is a true celebration of all things musical theater. Honoring excellence in high school productions is just the beginning. This program also advocates for the importance of the arts by creating access for students and schools in our community—many of which are Title I.

Through the Applause Awards, they receive valuable feedback and enjoy amazing learning opportunities—like master classes led by touring Broadway artists and performance training workshops—giving them a space to work with their peers and sharpen their skills.


August through April, industry experts review registered productions from more than 30 schools in seven Central Florida counties. Their detailed reviews are then used to determine awards in specific categories, and Dr. Phillips Center hosts a ceremony in June on the Walt Disney Theater stage. Modeled after the Tony Awards®, this high-energy evening includes a performance by almost 500 participating students—plus performances by the nominees for lead actor, lead actress and best musicals.

But it gets even better. Many participants are awarded college scholarships. And every year, one lead actor and one lead actress from the Applause Awards go on to participate in the National High School Musical Theatre Awards™ (NHSMTA)—also known as The Jimmy Awards®—in New York City. Recently, our very own Tony Moreno and Sofia Deler had quite the unforgettable experience, each bringing home a well-deserved Jimmy.

2020 Applause Awards Participating Schools

Boone High School

Circle Christian School

Colonial High School

Cornerstone Charter Academy

Cypress Creek High School

Dr. Phillips High School

East Ridge High School

Edgewater High School

Freedom High School

Gateway High School

Lake Brantley High School

Lake Highland Preparatory School

Lake Howell High School

Lake Minneola High School

Lake Nona High School

Melbourne High School

Montverde Academy

Ocoee High School

Osceola County School for the Arts

Spruce Creek High School

St. Cloud High School

The First Academy

Timber Creek High School

Tohopekaliga High School

Trinity Preparatory School

University High School

Windermere High School

Windermere Preparatory School

Winter Park High School