High School Musicals

IHSMTA 2016This weekend is a HUGE one for many of the various High Schools in the area.  Students have been working hard, getting ready to present their work to friends and family... and ultimately, some may make it to New York!  ​

A few years ago, Des Moines Performing Arts (the Civic Center) started a program called the Iowa High School Musical Theatre Awards (IHSMTA).  Various high schools in the area would enter, and their local productions would be adjudicated by theatre educators and professionals.  The best of these productions, and the best individual performers, would be invited to perform at a Showcase event on the Civic Center stage in June.
 
Now in its fifth year, the program has expanded to high schools throughout the entire state of Iowa.  And, due to the particulars of scheduling and other high school activities, a significant number of these initial productions happen to land on THIS WEEKEND.  
 
The most talented of the entrants into the IHSMTA, as decided by the visiting judges, go on to the Showcase event in June, where many get to be involved in a number of sessions with Broadway professionals, culminating in a performance on the Civic Center stage.  Last year, approximately 500 students from all over central Iowa performed in solo, group, and medley numbers.  And two of the students were given Triple Threat Awards, and were shortly whisked off to New York City for a week's worth of rehearsal with the best performers from other state competitions for the National Showcase.  They also got to see shows on Broadway, and learn from working actors on the boards what the performing life is like.
 
High schools typically don't do much advertising for their shows.  Their budgets aren't that large to begin with, and many times they can fill their auditoriums with family and friends, and succeed simply by word-of-mouth.  But for those who seek them out, many of the shows are surprisingly good, and the talent involved can be amazing.  
 
If you want to catch any of these future starts, the process begins with the local productions.  Some of the local shows are listed below, but for a more complete list of schools involved in the IHSMTA program, go to the Civic Center site here.  
 
Performing nearby this weekend are:
 
Adel DeSoto Milburn -- Once Upon a Mattress
Carlisle -- Cinderella
Clarke Osceola -- Footloose
Dallas Center Grimes -- Bye Bye Birdie
East HS Des Moines -- Hairspray
Hoover HS Des Moines -- Singin' in the Rain
North Polk Alleman -- 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
SouthEast Polk Pleasant Hill -- Beauty and the Beast
 
Check out one of these shows, or one of the many others listed on the Civic Center site, and perhaps see a future star.