Dr. Phillips Center Honors High School Musical Theater With 10th Annual Applause Awards

Orlando native & Broadway star Michael James Scott to host record-setting ceremony

ORLANDO – The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts announced the ticket on-sale date of the 2024 Applause Awards, taking place on Saturday, June 1, 2024 at Walt Disney Theater.

Reminiscent of the Tony Awards, this annual event celebrates top talent in our regional high school theaters, including teachers and students. This year’s tenth annual program includes more than 3,000 individuals, marking the highest participation since the program’s inception.

“The Applause Awards is a continued celebration of the incredible young talent in our regional performing arts community,” says Ryan Simpson, education director. “We believe in inclusion, accessibility and program growth — which will all be on display in this record-setting year.”

Broadway veteran Ray Roderick will direct his third Applause Awards production with Lauren Langa directing the music. Broadway celebrity and Dr. Phillips High School alum Michael James Scott will take the stage alongside former winners Samantha Nelson and Jackson Chase to host the showcase — which will feature roughly 350 student performers.

“I couldn’t be more excited to come back home and host this decade milestone year for the Applause Awards,” says Michael James Scott. “I see myself in all these young Orlando artists who have dreams of being in entertainment. To come back and be there to witness these talented young artists and be a part of this special evening is a big beautiful fierce gift.”

Fifty-seven productions from 37 schools will represent 10 Florida counties across Central and North Florida this year. During the event, winners will perform in various categories recognizing excellence in singing, acting, dancing, supporting and lead performer roles. Five schools will be honored for Outstanding Musical, and two lead performers will be selected as the Applause Awards winners and Jimmy Award nominees, representing our community in New York City.

Furthermore, the Applause Awards offers all participating college-bound students a chance to earn a scholarship. To date, the arts center has awarded more than $160,000 in scholarships through the program.  To get involved and support student scholarships, email [email protected].

This event is made possible thanks to the support of AdventHealth, Chick-fil-A Greater Orlando Area, Experience Kissimmee, OUC: The Reliable One, Florida Theatrical Association, the Chesley G. Magruder Foundation, the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture and the National Endowment for the Arts.