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The Bradley Awards

CELEBRATING HIGH SCHOOL THEATRE

 

In Spring 2025, Kentucky Performing Arts (KPA) intends to present the inaugural Bradley Awards, which is anticipated to be named an official Regional Awards Program of The National High School Musical Theatre Awards® (NHSMTA®), otherwise known as The Jimmy Awards®. With a goal of celebrating young artists and elevating the importance of theatre arts education, The Bradley Awards will partner with high schools across Kentucky and Southern Indiana to adjudicate a musical production at each participating school, culminating in an awards ceremony at The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts where awards in various categories will be provided to winning students, educators, and ensembles. Two students will be selected at the awards ceremony to represent the region at The Jimmy Awards in New York City, which includes a week of private coaching, master classes, and rehearsals with theatre professionals prior to participation in the national awards ceremony in a Broadway theater. 

The Bradley Awards are named in honor of Bradley Broecker, whose central role in bringing touring Broadway shows to Kentuckiana has made immeasurable impact on the region’s vibrancy. The Bradley Awards are presented by KPA in partnership with the Louisville Theatrical Association. 

The Bradley Awards seeks to build community amongst our region’s high school theatre programs, all of which are worthy of celebration for the value they bring to our youth and our communities.

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?

Public and private high schools in all Kentucky counties and in the following Indiana counties: Clark, Floyd, Harrison, Scott, and Washington. Only students enrolled in 9th through 12th grade at participating high schools are eligible to be considered for individual awards (i.e. Best Actor/Best Actress). Theatre programs of all budget sizes are encouraged to consider participation; The Bradley Awards will seek to meet schools “where they are” and celebrate their achievements in context of their resources.

Based on capacity, KPA may need to limit the number of schools that participate in The Bradley Awards; not all schools that are interested in participating are guaranteed a spot in the program. 

Schools would be required to select a musical that fully complies with The Jimmy Awards’ criteria for qualified musical and roles. CLICK HERE to review this information (scroll to the bottom for links to comprehensive lists).

HOW WILL IT WORK?

The Bradley Awards would send a team of three adjudicators to each participating high school to view a performance of their musical. Adjudicators for The Bradley Awards would consist of qualified performing arts educators, professionals, and experts from throughout the awards region. In addition to considering the production, cast, and crew for award categories at The Bradley Awards final ceremony in late May/early June 2025, the adjudicators would provide constructive feedback for you and your students with a goal of celebrating your achievements and supporting your students’ continued artistic growth. 

All participating schools would attend The Bradley Awards final ceremony, which would take place in the 2,400 seat Whitney Hall in The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, located in Louisville, KY. Some schools would be selected to perform an ensemble piece from their musical during the ceremony. 

Based on feedback from adjudicators, schools and students would be nominated in various categories (similar to the Tony Awards®). Winners are announced for each category during the ceremony. Potential categories for The Bradley Awards include:

  • Best Actor
  • Best Actress
  • Best Overall Production
  • Best Direction 
  • Best Ensemble 
  • Best Supporting Actor
  • Best Supporting Actress
  • A category acknowledging outstanding students in technical/production roles (stage management, set design, etc.)
  • A category acknowledging a school that has made community impact with their performance/production (i.e. fundraising for charity, raising awareness of an important issue, etc.)

The winners in the Best Actor/Actress categories would receive an all-expenses paid trip to New York City to participate in the national Jimmy Awards (which includes a week of masterclasses, as well as the awards ceremony where they will be considered alongside other young artists from across the country). 

WHAT ARE POTENTIAL PROGRAM COMMITMENTS FOR PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS?

  • Paying a registration fee (currently estimated to be $150).
  • Providing free tickets to adjudicators who attend a performance of your musical (a total of three to six tickets total, potentially to include guests of adjudicators). 
  • Providing information as requested about your school, cast, performance, etc., including performance photography. 
  • Purchase of at least 25 tickets to The Bradley Awards final ceremony at The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts in Louisville, KY (late May/early June 2025). Anticipated ticket cost is $15/ticket. 
  • Potentially restaging an ensemble number from your musical in The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts’ Whitney Hall for The Bradley Awards final ceremony.
  • Potentially supporting one to two days of school absences for Best Actor/Actress Award Nominees, who may need to be onsite in Louisville, KY for special rehearsals leading up to The Bradley Awards final ceremony. 

TIMELINE OVERVIEW

(dates are tentative and subject to change)

August 2024: Schools apply to participate in the 2025 Bradley Awards.

September 2024: Schools selected; orientation for participating schools. 

TBD period of time, leading up to May 2025: Adjudicators attend each participating school’s musicals; provide written feedback within two to four weeks of attending. 

Early May 2025: Nominees announced for each category in The Bradley Awards. 

Late May/Early June 2025: The Bradley Awards ceremony in Louisville, KY at The Kentucky Center’s Whitney Hall. Featuring performances by schools nominated for Best Overall Production, and each nominee for Best Actor/Actress. Award winners in all categories announced. 

Late June 2025: The winners in the Best Actor and Best Actress categories participate in The Jimmy Awards in New York City. 

VALUES AND BELONGING

The Bradley Awards believes every young artist has value and potential, and every participating student and educator should contribute to an environment that is empowering, educational, exciting, and welcoming to all. While there is a competitive element to any awards ceremony, all participants should be treated with dignity and respect, and in turn should treat others with dignity and respect. The Bradley Awards seeks to build community amongst our region’s high school theatre programs, all of which are worthy of celebration for the value they bring to our youth and our communities. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

There will be more information about The Bradley Awards in the coming months.  Please monitor our website and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates.

If you have any questions, please email Nick Covault, KPA VP of Education and Community.

EDUCATORS

If you are an educator interested in learning more about how your school might participate in The Bradley Awards, please CLICK HERE to fill out a short survey.  The responses will help inform the structure of the Awards.

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