Jerry Awards Title Sponsor
The Jerry Awards, one of Wisconsin’s High School Musical Awards Programs, encourages, recognizes and honors excellence in high school musical theater. The program began in the 09/10 school year as the Tommy Awards, and was renamed in 17/18 season to The Jerry Awards after philanthropist and arts supporter W. Jerome Frautschi. Educators and industry professionals review productions at more than 85 high schools in 30 counties around the state providing valuable feedback. The program elevates the importance of musical theater within high schools.
We will be reviewing performances again in the 21/22 school year! We continue to monitor the health and safety recommendations and will adjust the program as needed. The application to participate is now available.
School and student achievements are honored and featured in an awards show held at Overture Center in June and two outstanding performers are selected to represent the program at The National High School Musical Theater Awards (The Jimmys) competition in New York City.
Students at participating high schools can participate in The Jerry Ensemble, become a Student Critic, and receive special ticket deals to Broadway and other performances at Overture Center, The Marcus Performing Arts Center, the Grand Theater and the Fine Arts Center at Viterbo University. Check out the Participation Guide for more information.
Overture Center is pleased to partner with the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, The Grand Theater and Viterbo University expanding the reach of the Jerry Awards to Milwaukee, Wausau and LaCrosse area schools.
20/21 JERRY AWARDS PROGRAM & SHOW
Due to the extraordinary challenges of the 20/21 school year, the Jerry Awards Program looked a little different. In January of 2020, 45 students joined the Jerry Company and attended virtual workshops focused on performance and audition skills. At the end of the workshop sessions, students who were interested in auditioning to represent the Jerry Awards at the National High School Musical Theater Awards (The Jimmy Awards), submitted an audition video. A panel of reviewers then selected 20 students who then performed at the 2021 Jerry Awards Show. In May, the 20 semifinalists performed their solos during a livestreamed performance hosted in Promenade Hall in Overture Center. The show included performances by the Central and Southern Jerry Ensembles, interviews with the 20 semifinalists and incredible solo performances by the students. The evening concluded with the announcement of the two students who represented the Jerry Awards at the 2021 virtual Jimmy Awards and a finale video performance by members of the Jerry Company.
Learn about the impact of the Jerry Awards in the following personal testimonies:
• Kate Janssen: Jerry Awards program exemplifies Overture’s commitment to the next generation
• Amber Kind-Keppel: Jerry Awards recognize powerful work of high school theater programs
• Sarah Karlen: Jerry Awards positively impact students, directors, communities
• Gail Becker: Investing in Overture is nourishing your soul
Watch Past Jerry Awards Shows!
2021 Virtual Jerry Awards Show
2020 Virtual Jerry Awards Show
2019 Jerry Awards Show
2018 Jerry Awards Show
2017 Tommy Awards Performances
2016 Tommy Awards Show
2015 Tommy Awards Show
2014 Tommy Awards Show
2013 Tommy Awards Show
Overture’s JERRY AWARDS on PBS Wisconsin
Overture and PBS Wisconsin collaborated in celebrating the important work done in high school musical theater and are excited to share the talent and dedication with viewers around the state. The Jerry Awards is thrilled to partner with PBS Wisconsin to shine the light on young performers.
Looking for a photo from a past Tommy or Jerry Awards Show? View Mark Frohna’s photographs of the past awards shows.
Past Award Recipients
Overture Center is pleased to partner with Marcus Performing Arts Center, The Grand Theater, Viterbo University and PBS Wisconsin.
Contact Director of Broadway Engagement Karra Beach