CELEBRATING 30 YEARS OF WNY HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL PERFORMANCES
The 2023 Kenny Awards will be held on Saturday, May 27, 2023 at 6 PM
The ten finalist schools for the 2023 Kenny Awards are:
Amherst Central High School (Amherst, NY)
Seussical: The Musical: February 10-11, 2023
Maryvale High School (Cheektowaga, NY)
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast: March 3-4, 2023
Barker Junior/Senior High School (Barker, NY)
Cinderella: March 10-12, 2023
Nardin Academy (Buffalo, NY)
Disney’s The Little Mermaid: November 10-12, 2022
Iroquois High School (Elma, NY)
The SpongeBob Musical: March 16-18, 2023
North Tonawanda High School (North Tonawanda, NY)
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels: March 9-11, 2023
Lockport High School (Lockport, NY)
All Shook Up: March 24-26, 2023
Pine Valley Central School (South Dayton, NY)
Little Women: March 24-25, 2023
Maple Grove High School (Bemus Point, NY)
Newsies: March 25-27
West Seneca West Senior High (West Seneca, NY)
Mean Girls: February 9-11, 2023
Finalists are eligible for the following award categories: Outstanding Musical Production, Outstanding Orchestral Performance, Outstanding Technical Design, Outstanding Choral Performance, Outstanding Scenic Design, Outstanding Dramatic Performance, Outstanding Costume Design, Outstanding Dance Performance, The Showstopper Award, Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble, The Blossom Cohan Award, Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role, Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role, Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role, and Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role. The 2022 Outstanding Musical Production Award recipient was Lancaster High School for their production of Catch Me if You Can.
Recipients of the Outstanding Leading Actress and Actor awards will travel to New York City to participate in the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (The Jimmy Awards) produced by the Broadway League Foundation at the Minskoff Theatre. Elizabeth Hopkins of Barker High School (Little Women) and Ryan Butler of Starpoint High School (Newsies) represented Western New York at the 2022 Jimmy Awards.
Download the application and submit to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications are due by 5pm on October 28, 2022.
All public, private, and charter schools in Erie, Niagara, Allegany, Cattaraugus, and Chautauqua counties producing a full-length musical production are eligible and encouraged to apply for and participate in the Kenny Awards. This includes ‘School Editions’ but not Broadway Junior or TYA shows. Participating casts must be largely made up of students in grades 9-12. Participating programs must acquire proper licensing for their production and let the licensing house know that they are participating in this program.
Award nominations are chosen based on the evaluations of multiple adjudicators viewing the participating productions. Evaluations are completed based on the information provided by the finalist programs during the application process and through the season.
Only the names of the nominees and winners in each category will made public. Directors will receive general feedback about their school’s production to help strengthen their program. All feedback is based on what the adjudicators saw at the performance and what they know about the program from the application process. Feedback is intended for the directors only and is not for sharing with students. We do not share the judges’ scores.
Nominations will be announced in late-April of each year.
In 2023, there will be five nominees in each award category except for the Leading Actor and Actress awards, which will have six nominees each. Leading nominees are required to participate in a secondary week-long evaluation process to be considered to win the award. If the nominee is unavailable or not interested in participating in the evaluation process, they may retain their nomination but will not be considered to win.
All award decisions are final.
Shea’s Performing Arts Center and The Lipke Foundation retain the right to all decision-making in matters requiring interpretation of the above-stated rules and regulations and for special circumstances not directly addressed.
Hundreds of outstanding musical productions and students from local high schools have been recognized and honored by the Kenny Awards. The school that wins The Kenny for Outstanding Musical Production will receive a $10,000 grant from the Lipke Foundation to support their theatre department. “The Kenny,” a crystal trophy commissioned and designed exclusively for the program, is on permanent display at Shea’s and stands as a tribute to young talent throughout Western New York.
In addition, the two students who receive the awards for Outstanding Leading Performer in a Male Role and Outstanding Leading Performer in a Female Role will participate in The Jimmy Awards, the national high school musical theatre awards, in New York City and will make their Broadway debut.
The Kenny Awards adjudicators consist of qualified arts professionals and educators. All adjudicators must attend regular meetings that consist of training, orientation, idea sharing, and program updates.