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Tennessee Theatre to launch ‘Marquee Awards’ to celebrate local high school musical theatre

February 6, 2023

Local winners qualify for the Jimmy Awards® in New York City

The Tennessee Theatre will host the newly-created Marquee Awards, which celebrates high school musical theatre in East Tennessee. The event, which will be held in 2024, is dedicated to supporting the talents, education and opportunities of students to build a strong and inclusive theatre community.

“We’re thrilled to announce the formation of the Marquee Awards,” said Becky Hancock, executive director of the Historic Tennessee Theatre Foundation. “It gives our community the chance to recognize the talented young students in East Tennessee, as well as promote theatre arts education in schools.”

The Marquee Awards will be held on May 11, 2024, at the Tennessee Theatre, and there are no fees for area high schools to participate. Additional details will be provided in April 2023, and a list of frequently asked questions is available now at

The Marquee Awards program will consist of three pieces:

  • Adjudication – A panel of knowledgeable theatre lovers will attend each high school’s musical and provide feedback on the performance.
  • Nomination – Schools and individuals will receive awards that honor achievements in performance, technical and creative categories at the 2024 ceremony. Some nominees also will have the opportunity to perform at the National High School Musical Awardsâ
  • Educational Opportunities – Partnering with the Clarence Brown Theatre, nominees will participate in a day of workshops and masterclasses led by University of Tennessee artists and professors before attending the awards ceremony. Participating schools will be the first to know about additional educational opportunities such as masterclasses and workshops.

The Tennessee Theatre’s membership in The Broadway League, the national trade association for the Broadway industry, allows the Marquee Awards’ best actress and best actor winners to attend the Jimmy Awards®, which are a national celebration of outstanding student achievement in high school musical theatre.

“The Marquee Awards will allow the Tennessee Theatre to elevate cultural arts in our area and ensure that students have early access to the educational tools they need in the community to be successful on a musical stage,” Hancock said. “Part of our mission includes education and outreach, and we believe in the power of the theatre to spark curiosity and creativity and open cultural doors to everyone.”

For schools interested in participating in the program and to learn more about The Marquee Awards, visit and follow Tennessee Theatre on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify.

About the Tennessee Theatre

Located in the heart of downtown Knoxville, the Tennessee Theatre opened in 1928 as a movie palace. The Tennessee Theatre is the Official State Theatre of Tennessee and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Tennessee Theatre is the region’s leading performing arts facility with advanced technology, staging and lighting that draws top entertainment to the Knoxville area. The Historic Tennessee Theatre Foundation is a nonprofit organization tasked with maintaining and preserving the historic theatre and ensuring diverse arts and cultural entertainment remains in downtown Knoxville. For more information, visit