The National High School Musical Theatre Awards® has reviewed the professional standards for identifying the definition of an Approved Musical and a Qualifying Role in an Approved Musical for the purposes of our program. These standards serve as a guide to create a minimum standard and criteria for what defines a Qualifying Role in the category of Best Actor / Actress in an amateur production of an Approved Musical.
1. Definition of an Approved Musical
For the purposes of NHSMTA, an Approved Musical is one that:
2. Definition of a Qualifying Role
For the purposes of NHSMTA, a Qualifying Role in an Approved Musical is a role in which the character has a name, provides a vehicle for the actor or actress to demonstrate the ability to deliver the exceptional performance of a solo song and the ability to interact with other leading and featured performers in scenes and / or songs.
Unless identified as an “Ensemble Cast Musical,” an Approved Musical may have not more than six (6) Qualifying Roles. Such roles do not have to be evenly divided between genders.
For Approved Musicals with both a book and libretto, a Qualifying Role must, at minimum, include:
For Approved Musicals with a libretto only, a Qualifying Role must, at minimum, include:
3. For the purposes of the NHSMTA program, students are adjudicated in the category corresponding to their gender identification, not the gender of the role that they played. All casting or script change requests for performances in the NHSMTA program must be approved beforehand. The regional awards program must also submit proof of approval from the show’s licensing organization.
A Regional Awards Program (RAP) may submit an appeal for either a musical or role to be considered an Approved Musical or a Qualifying Role after such RAP has applied to and been notified of their acceptance to participate in NHSMTA. Appeals must be submitted using the 2020 Appeal Form. Appeals must be made prior to April 1, 2020. Appeals made after April 1 cannot be assured acceptance for the 2020 NHSMTA. The Review Board will consider all appeals and make a determination within 10 days of submission.
Please note that the Review Board has determined that no other roles qualify in the case of shows that have less than six (6) Qualifying Roles listed.
This process has been established to ensure all RAPs use the same method and have the same opportunity to submit appeals.
Each year, in consultation with the major licensing houses, NHSMTA updates the list of Qualifying Roles and Approved Musical titles made available for high school licensing. As of August 1 each year, no roles will be removed from the Qualifying Roles List for the upcoming program year. However, because appeals are made and approved throughout the year, the list of Qualifying Roles continues to be updated with additions. Your RAP representative should consult this list periodically to ensure that you have the most current list, which will be fully updated for the year by April 16, 2020.
This information is intended as a reference for our RAPs. Students, parents and teachers with questions regarding role eligibility should contact their local program directly.