Applause Awards

Celebrate Central Florida's most talented students.

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.

2019 Applause Awards Participating Schools

Bishop Moore High School

Boone High School

Circle Christian School

Cornerstone Charter Academy

Cypress Creek High School

Dr. Phillips High School

Freedom High School

Gateway High School

Harrison School for the Arts

Lake Brantley High School

Lake Highland Preparatory School

Lake Minneola High School

Lake Nona High School

Liberty High School

Monteverde Academy

Olympia High School

Osceola County School for the Arts

Spruce Creek High School

The First Academy

Timber Creek High School

Tohopekaliga High School

Trinity Preparatory School

University High School

West Orange High School

Windermere High School

Windermere Preparatory School

Winter Park High School

Winter Springs High School