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Awards Presented | Evaluation Process |Evaluator Attendance and Tickets | Application Process | Performance Video |Support Materials Guidelines |Awards Ceremony | Scholarship | Ticketing | Timeline / Calendar

Registration for Hershey Theatre Apollo Awards Program

Official registration begins September 3, 2014.

For media inquiries regarding the Hershey Theatre Apollo Awards, please email Anthony Haubert.

Check out our exciting scholarship opportunities!

Thank you to the sponsors of the 2014 Hershey Theatre Apollo Awards:
Carmen and Tonia Finestra and The Finestra Foundation
Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company
The Christalla Papson Legacy Fund
Hershey Rotary Club
Pam and Tony Measley
Messiah College
Cultural Enrichment Fund

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2014 Hershey Theatre Apollo Awards Nominees and Recipients - Plays
2014 Hershey Theatre Apollo Awards Nominees and Recipients - Musicals

The Apollo AwardsCreated in 2008, the Hershey Theatre Apollo Awards (HTAA) are presented annually to recognize outstanding achievement by local high school students in their musical and play productions. Modeled after The Tony Awards® on Broadway, the ceremony will be held at the Hershey Theatre on Sunday, May 17, 2015. The Hershey Theatre Apollo Awards program is produced and presented by the Hershey Theatre Education Department.

The HTAA are aptly named for the Greek god who adorns the decorative ceiling in the grand lobby of the Hershey Theatre. Apollo was the patron god of music, poetry, and the arts – a fitting namesake for our tribute program.

Any public or private high school in Cumberland, Dauphin, Lebanon and Perry counties may participate. Schools in Elizabethtown have also been invited to participate.

The awards focus solely on the performances of the youth, honoring their acting, singing, and dancing abilities. The HTAA program is committed to recognizing only the actual performances of the high school students themselves.

Each school must pay a registration fee of $55.00. Applications for plays may be submitted online beginning September 3, 2014.

All evaluators will be trained yearly in the scoring method established by the Hershey Theatre Apollo Awards and must attend mandatory sessions throughout the year. Six evaluators will be sent to each school’s performance.

Nominations for the outstanding play awards will be announced Thursday, January 22, 2015. Nominations for the musicals will be announced Wednesday, April 22, 2015.

Each school must provide a total of twelve (12) complimentary tickets for the six (6) evaluators and their guests. Additionally, all schools must provide accurate driving instructions to the building where the production will be held.

It is a requirement of participation that the Hershey Theatre Apollo Awards Committee receives a copy of the program and a poster of the production. These are mandatory.

Should a school double-cast their production, please note that two separate application packets would have to be completed. A set of evaluators will be sent to see each cast perform.

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Awards Presented

The following 16 awards will be presented on the evening of Sunday, May 17, 2015 at the Hershey Theatre Apollo Awards program:

  • Outstanding Student Orchestra
  • Outstanding Dance Number in a Musical
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical
  • Outstanding Featured Performer in a Play
  • Outstanding Featured Performer in a Musical
  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play
  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play
  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical
  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical
  • Outstanding Production of a Play
  • Outstanding Production of a Musical
  • Outstanding Student Playwright
  • Spirit of Theater

The Evaluation Process

The Hershey Theatre Apollo Awards is comprised of two evaluation rounds. In the first round, six (6) evaluators will attend the school productions. It is our goal to have an evaluator present at each performance; however, evaluator availability may not always allow for that to occur. The evaluators will have one week to complete their evaluation forms and return them to the Hershey Theatre.

The five (5) highest scoring individuals and shows will become the nominees in each category. Our goal is to have five nominations in each category. Tied scores may result in additional nominations in a category. In some cases, students may earn honorable mention recognition.

After the nominations are announced, the second round of the evaluation process will occur. Evaluators will view the five (5) nominations in each category based on the video submitted. They will cast a vote in each category. A sub-group of whole production evaluators will view the entire play/musical and rank the shows from 1-5. Results will be kept secret until the night of the show, May 17, 2015.

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Evaluator Attendance and Tickets

Every school’s production will be attended by six (6) evaluators representing the Hershey Theatre Apollo Awards. The HTAA staff will reserve a maximum of twelve (12) complimentary tickets to each of the school’s performances. At least one week prior to each of the school’s productions, a representative of the HTAA will contact the school’s ticket office to specifically verify which shows the evaluators will attend and how many tickets will be needed for each show. All other seats being held for the HTAA evaluators may then be released. If a guest cancels and will not be accompanying an evaluator to the performance, the evaluator will inform the box office that the other seat can be released upon redeeming. If an evaluator is unable to attend an assigned performance, the HTAA committee will make every effort to reassign that evaluator to another performance. If no other performances are available, the HTAA committee will double the highest score received from the remaining five (5) evaluators.

Please respect the need for all evaluators to attend your performances anonymously. The twelve (12) tickets will be reserved under each evaluator’s name, which will be supplied to the person in charge of tickets. Each evaluator will pick up his/her tickets prior to the assigned performance. Do not mail the tickets to the Hershey Theatre. The occasion may arise when an evaluator cannot attend a public performance. This situation will be avoided if possible, but please know that, on that rare occasion, an evaluator may need to attend a rehearsal or a student matinee.

The HTAA staff strongly suggests that directors not tell their cast and crew when the evaluators will be in the audience. We want the evaluators to see a typical production. Also, please do not cordon off an area for the evaluators or make the seating recognizable in any way. We are committed to establishing discretion to ensure objectivity during the entire process.

Evaluators with a vested interest, either personally or professionally, with an individual school will not be assigned to evaluate that school’s performance during the nomination process.

The HTAA Advisory Board has assembled a diverse group of evaluators experienced in the world of theater and musical productions. Each evaluator is trained in the use of the scoring rubric created by the HTAA. All evaluators will view each production through a common perspective.

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Application Process / Deadlines

Registration by directors of fall plays will begin on Wednesday, September 3, 2014. Applications are completed and submitted online. Registration for PLAYS closes at noon (EST) on Tuesday, September 23, 2014. Spring musical registration begins on Monday, January 5, 2015. Applications are completed and submitted online. Registration for MUSICALS closes at noon (EST) on Thursday, January 22, 2015.

Outstanding Student Playwright Award

Designed to encourage budding playwrights, the Outstanding Student Playwright Award is presented to a student in grades 9-12 and who lives in the HTAA region (i.e. Cumberland, Dauphin, Lebanon and Perry Counties, and Elizabethtown). A completed Letter of Intent must be submitted by Friday, October 31, 2014. Please review Outstanding Student Playwright Award Rules and Regulations, which includes submission instructions.

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Support Materials Guidelines

Support materials, such as the show poster, program and tickets, will be used for display purposes only. Play material must be submitted by Wednesday, January 14, 2015. Musical material must be sent no later than Wednesday, April 15, 2015.

Acceptable support materials are:

  • Flyers and tickets
  • Poster of the show (MANDATORY)
  • Programs/playbills (MANDATORY)

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Awards Ceremony

The awards program will be held on Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 7:00 pm at Hershey Theatre. The show will feature live performances of production numbers from the five (5) nominated musicals. Individual solo selections will be performed by students nominated in each of the outstanding male and female leading musical roles. Additionally, nominated characters from the plays will perform short monologues.

Schools nominated for Outstanding Musical will perform one musical number from their production. Each nominated school will select the number(s) to perform within a four minute time slot unless two schools are nominated for the same show. In that case, the HTAA Executive Directors and Musical Director will assign the production number. Hand props and costumes will be permitted as long as they can be transported to the Theatre by the schools’ participants themselves. Basic lighting elements will be provided at the discretion of the HTAA staff. No scenery, drops or flats will be used. All musical numbers will be performed with the HTAA set. The HTAA staff recommends that all student performers in the awards program dress in costume. If the cast is unable to retain their show costumes for the evening performance, uniformity of dress is encouraged. Production numbers will have piano accompaniment only and the school must provide the accompanist. Schools must limit the number of performers in their production number to no more than 35 students.

Students nominated in the Outstanding Lead Actor/Actress in a Musical category will perform a signature piece solo. The solo will feature a segment of a number performed from their show.

An opening number will be performed by two student representatives from each of the participating schools. This number will be selected by the HTAA committee and sent to the schools by Monday, March 2, 2015. Each director is encouraged to facilitate the rehearsal and memorization of this song for their designated performers.

A rehearsal will be held on Sunday, May 10, 2015 at the Hershey Theatre. All students participating in the opening number as well as the nominees for Outstanding Actor and Actress in Plays and Musicals are required to attend that rehearsal. All participants will participate in the run-through rehearsal on the day of the performance (May 17th). Time will be limited so please be prepared to move on and off the stage quickly and quietly. Prior individual rehearsal is expected to ensure the fluidity of the Hershey Theatre Apollo Awards program.

The Hershey Theatre Apollo Awards format allows for brief acceptance speeches; however, they must be limited to one (1) minute. If a school is nominated for one of the non-individual awards, (outstanding musical, outstanding play, outstanding dance number, or outstanding orchestra) each director will choose (in advance) no more than two (2) students to accept that award for the school.

Attire for the evening is formal. Students involved in any performance number or medleys may bring a change of clothes.

Transportation to and from the Hershey Theatre for the show is the responsibility of each participating school or individual nominee. Schools nominated for Best Musical category will be assigned to a dressing room area. Costumes and make up can be applied in that area. It will be the responsibility of the schools to see that the dressing rooms are cleaned after their performance on stage. Should additional cleaning be required, the Hershey Theatre will bill the school(s). Unpaid or outstanding bills will eliminate participation in future Hershey Theatre Apollo Awards programs.

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The following students will receive complimentary admission to the Hershey Theatre Apollo Awards program on Sunday, May 17, 2015:

  1. Each school nominated for Outstanding Musical will have thirty-five (35) seats set aside for the cast, crew and directors.
  2. Each cast nominated for Outstanding Play will have twenty (20) complimentary tickets for the cast and crew.
  3. Individual nominees in each category will receive a complimentary seat for the evening.
  4. Two student acceptors for the Outstanding Dance and Orchestra awards will have reserved seats for the evening.
  5. Opening number participants will have a seat reserved.
  6. Students who receive honorable mention for their role in a play and/or musical will receive one complimentary ticket.
  7. Students receiving the Spirit of the Theatre Award from each school will receive one complimentary ticket.

All other tickets are on sale beginning January 5, 2015, and may be purchased by calling (717) 534-3405, by FAX (717) 533-2882, online at HersheyTheatre.com or at the box office window. A select number of seats will be held throughout the auditorium until after nominations for the musicals are announced on Wednesday, April 22, 2015. At that time those seats will be released so parents and friends of those nominees will be able to obtain prime seating.

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Scholarship Opportunities

Hershey Theatre Apollo Awards Scholarships
Every year, the Hershey Theatre Apollo Awards presents scholarship funds to each student nominated for an award. This feature is one of the unique aspects of this awards program.

Dickinson College – John Montgomery Scholarship
Dickinson College is partnering with Hershey Theatre in recognizing any academically competitive high school junior nominee who is admitted to Dickinson during their senior year. The John Montgomery Scholarship is worth $40,000 of tuition support for eight semesters of full-time study at the college.

Harry and Lorraine Ausprich Endowment Scholarship for the Arts
The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Foundation has partnered with the Hershey Theatre Apollo Awards to present the Harry and Lorraine Ausprich Endowment Scholarship for the Arts, a $500 scholarship, to an award recipient who is currently a senior in high school and will be attending one of the 14 Pennsylvania state universities in the fall.

The National High School Musical Theater Awards
Hershey Theatre Apollo Award recipients in the Outstanding Lead Actor and Actress in a Musical category are eligible to participate in The National High School Musical Theater Awards, which celebrate outstanding student performances in high school musical productions across the United States. The final competitions will be held in New York City.

Gretna Theatre
Gretna Theatre and Hershey Theatre are pleased to announce a partnership for the Hershey Theatre Apollo Awards. Students who receive Outstanding Lead Actor and Actress in a Play will be eligible to participate in the master classes offered at Gretna Theatre each summer. In addition, recipients will receive tickets to a Gretna Theatre production and a private audition for the following summer session at Gretna Theatre with the possibility for them to be cast in a Theatre for Young Audiences production.

Open Stage of Harrisburg
Open Stage of Harrisburg offers each student nominee a $100 scholarship to a summer workshop. “Outstanding Supporting Actor and Actress” in both play and musical categories receive a full scholarship to attend the 2015 summer musical theater workshop.

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Important 2014 - 2015 Dates

  • Wednesday, September 3, 2014 Registration for High School PLAYS begins. Registration for PLAYS closes at noon (EST) on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014
  • Wednesday, September 3, 2014 Announcements sent for Playwright Awards
  • Friday, October 24, 2014 Registration fees for Plays are due to Hershey Theatre
  • Friday, October 31, 2014 Playwright Letters of Intent due to Hershey Theatre
  • Monday, December 1, 2014 Playwright original scripts due to Hershey Theatre
  • Mid-October – Sunday, January 11, 2015 “PLAY SEASON”
  • Monday, January 5, 2015 Registration for High School MUSICALS begins. (Registration forms available at HersheyTheare.com. Registration closes at noon (EST) on Thursday, January 22, 2015.)
  • Monday, January 5, 2015 Tickets for the 2015 Hershey Theatre Apollo Awards go on sale at the Box Office (717-534-3405) or online.
  • Wednesday, January 14, 2015 All support materials for PLAYS are due to Hershey Theatre
  • Thursday, January 22, 2015 Announcement of PLAY nominations and PLAYWRIGHT nominations
  • Saturday, January 24, 2015 Beyond the Footlights celebration cabaret
  • February 2015 Final reading of PLAYWRIGHT nominated plays
  • Monday, February 23, 2015 Registration fees for MUSICALS are due to Hershey Theatre
  • Mid- February – Sunday, April 12, 2015 “MUSICAL SEASON”
  • Monday, March 2, 2015 Opening Number announcement
  • Wednesday, April 15, 2015 All support materials for MUSICALS are due to Hershey Theatre
  • Wednesday, April 22, 2015 Announcement of MUSICAL nominations
  • TBA Nominee Reception for PLAY, MUSICAL, PLAYWRIGHT
  • Sunday, May 10, 2015 Rehearsal for Hershey Theatre Apollo Awards
  • Sunday, May 17, 2015 Hershey Theatre Apollo Awards – 7 p.m. SHOW (Daytime rehearsal)

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