Theatre Under the Stars

Here are the winners of the 2019 Tommy Tune Awards

How can my school participate?

To be eligible for participation, schools must:

  • Turn in an application form between 9:00am August 26, 2019 and 5:00pm August 30, 2019. (see below for application link)
  • Be within 45 miles of Downtown Houston
. Why? It’s all about the timing. With so many of the schools producing evening shows, it becomes almost very difficult for judges to make it on time to the schools farther than 45 miles in Houston traffic.
  • Produce a musical during the 19-20 Adjudication Period (October 3, 2019-March 8, 2020) that fits the show requirements detailed below. (See below in Categories and Eligibility)
  • Cast students primarily from their high school.
What do you mean? Some schools are K-12, so they can cast younger students. Some schools have relationships with their feeder middle and elementary schools and are able to have younger actors in their cast. These younger students should not be in the majority, and are not eligible for nomination. Ex: If a school does Annie, and casts the orphans as middle and elementary school students, those students are not eligible for nomination.
  • Acquire Licensing for their show by September 18, 2019 and let your licensing house know that you are participating in this program.
Why? We want to celebrate you! One of the perks of being a Tommy Tune school is showing it off… which we can’t do if you don’t have your licensing. Contact if you have any issues with your licensing process.

Here are the participating schools for the 2020 Tommy Tune Awards

How does the process work?

  • The first 50 schools to sign up will be admitted to the Awards. Any submissions after the first 50 will require special consideration.
  • A Director’s Meeting will be held September 9, 2019. Information beyond the packets will be available, and there will be a Q&A session.
  • All production licensing information is due to Tommy Tune Awards by September 18, 2019.
  • All schools and shows will be officially announced at the beginning of October to kick-off the season!
  • The adjudication process will run from October 3, 2019-March 8, 2020.
  • Nominations will be announced in all categories, and a new round of paperwork will begin.
  • Awards show rehearsal period begins early April 2020.
  • The culminating Awards show is held April 28, 2020.
  • Schools receive commentary feedback from the Adjudication Process.


Date Action
August 23-30, 2019 School Applications Accepted
September 9, 2019 Director Meeting
September 18, 2019 Licensing Acquisition Date
October 3, 2019 Adjudicating Period Begins
March 8, 2020 Adjudication Period Ends
March 22, 2020* Nominations Announced
April 1, 2020* Rehearsal Period Begins (exact schedule to be released)
April 28, 2020 Tommy Tune Awards Ceremony

*Date is subject to change.

Categories and Eligibility

What are the Categories for the Tommy Tune Awards?


Category What does this mean?
Lead Actress/Actor A student who is in the role of a dramatic lead.
Supporting Actress/Actor A student who is in the role of a supporting character.
Featured Performer A student who is in the show, and positively stands out to the judges, but may not exactly fit in a lead or supporting role.
Ensemble The overall collaborative performance of the students, focusing on choreography, staging, and effective storytelling. Ensemble can mean either the chorus of a musical, or the cohesive energy of a small band of performers onstage, depending on the show.

Design and Technical Execution

Category What does this mean?
Lighting Design The focus on the visible, intangible elements onstage and how they contribute to storytelling.
Scenic Design The focus of the visible, tangible, constructed elements onstage (most specifically scenery and props), and how they contribute to the dramatic arc of a production.
**Projection design is sometimes placed into this category, depending on how it is used within a production.
Costume Design The focus of how performers are costumed, and how it contributes to their characterization and the overall storytelling.
Stage Crew and Technical Execution The focus on sound, transitions, and overall execution of technical elements.


Category What does this mean?
Orchestra The focus on the tone, quality, balance from the band/orchestra and how it contributes to the storytelling.
Musical Direction The focus on the tone, quality, balance, etc. of the vocalists onstage and how it contributes to the storytelling.


Category What does this mean?
Choreography The staged movement of the actors, centering on dance, stage shapes, and pictures as they relate to music and the storytelling.
Direction The overall vision, choices, and design and performance cohesion as it relates to the overall storytelling.


Category What does this mean?
Best Musical A holistic look at a school’s production, including how direction/vision, design and technical elements, performances, and wow factor come into play at the performance adjudicated by the judges.*

*Eligibility for Nominations is laid out in the 2019-2020 Participation Guide.

What kind of shows are eligible for the Tommy Tune Awards>

The Tommy Tune Awards follows the model of the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, the arm of the Broadway League that produces the Jimmy Awards. For more information about NHSMTA and qualifying shows and roles, please go to

Definition of an approved musical:

  • Held performances in a major New York City/Broadway theatre, professional regional, or touring theatre outside of New York City prior to being made available for licensing to the regional, amateur, or school theatre /circuit.

  • Was originally conceived and produced for a core audience over eight years of age.

  • Is officially available for a performance license by a high school from the licensing entity that manages such licenses on behalf of the rights holder for such musical.

  • RAP officially licensed from the licensing entity that manages such licenses on behalf of the rights holder for such musical.

  • Is the standard or school edition/version; The following editions/versions are not eligible: 101 Collection, Broadway Junior, G2K (Getting to Know Series), Young Performers Edition, and Young@Part. Concert versions

If you have any questions about a title, please contact the Tommy Tune Awards team at We are here to help.