Des Moines Performing Arts Program Honors Best High School Musical Productions

DES MOINES, Iowa – The best high school musical productions in Iowa will take the stage at the Des Moines Civic Center.

Des Moines Performing Arts Education Manager Karoline Myers said the Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards Showcase program aims to enhance theater programs in high schools from across the state.

“Access to arts programs in our schools is so important, because they help develop our youth into well-rounded citizens. I don’t think there’s any other activity in high school that is quite as collaborative and gets so many students from so many different skill sets involved as a high school musical. To have them come together to tell a story and to work toward one vision is really instilling skills. Much more beyond singing, dancing and technical skills,” Myers said.

Sixty-eight schools from across the state participate in the program. There will be about 500 students that will perform excerpts from musicals like “West Side Story” and “Newsies.”

“We hear about a lot of underclassmen that they come in and they have experience and they see what their peers across the state are capable of, and it really motivates them. They take new leadership skills back to their schools and they really become leaders for their high school musicals their junior and senior year,” Myers said.

Myers said a New York choreographer will come and teach the students an opening and closing routine for the showcase.

“Upperclassman, we often hear stories about how that experience performing on the Civic Center stage, and having that recognition really gives them the confidence to continue on with their drama series,” Myers said.

Myers said the program reaches around 5,000 students each year.

Following the performance, students will be recognized for their work during an awards ceremony.

The public can purchase tickets to see the Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards Showcase presented by the Des Moines Performing Arts beginning Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. Tickets start at $15.00

The showcase is June 4th at 7:00 p.m. at the Des Moines Civic Center.