Cobb Energy Performing Arts Foundation

Shuler Hensley Awards

The Georgia High School Musical Theater Awards

Fashioned after Broadway’s Tony Awards, the Shuler Hensley Awards celebrate excellence in high school musical theater. The Awards are named in honor of actor/singer and Georgia native, Shuler Hensley, winner of the prestigious Tony Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, and Drama Desk Award. The Shuler Awards are a part of the National High School Musical Theater Awards - The Jimmy Nederlander Awards. The Shuler Awards embody a spirit of camaraderie and celebration for the arts in high schools across Georgia. Atlanta's Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre provides a beautiful, state-of-the-art home for the Shuler Awards. The ArtsBridge Foundation supports the Shuler Awards, in addition to other educational arts programs.

Program Participation

The Shuler Awards is open to any Georgia high school that produces a musical theater production from October through March. Participation is FREE. A panel of over 55 professional adjudicators from Georgia's arts and education communities attend participating high school musical theater performances. Awards and scholarships are presented at a televised, formal ceremony at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, beginning with a glamorous, red carpet event. Excellence is recognized in 17 categories, including Leading Actress, Leading Actor, Overall Production, Scenic Design, Costume Design, Music Direction, Technical Execution, and Choreography.


The Shuler Awards debuted in 2009 with 15 participating public and private Metro-Atlanta schools. 14 adjudicators submitted their evaluations for tabulation to Frazier and Deeter, LLC, certified public accountants and advisors. On Tuesday, April 14, 2009, participating schools and community supporters gathered to celebrate excellence in high school musical theater. The Awards would not be possible without vital partners and sponsors including, the television technology program at Chattahoochee Technical College and Atlanta's WSB-TV. Arts, education, and community leaders presented Awards and three $1000 scholarships. In June, the Shuler Awards Leading Actress and Actor travelled to New York City to participate in the National High School Musical Theater Awards' premiere.

The second year of the program experienced an explosion of interest and participation. The number of registered schools soared to 39 and the adjudication panel expanded to 27. On April 13, 2010, students, teachers, and community supporters again gathered to celebrate excellence in high school theater programs. Chattahoochee Technical College and WSB-TV continued their participation and scholarships were awarded to students pursuing arts education at the college level. Leading Actor, Arsalan Akhavan, and Leading Actress Alexandria Payne represented the Shuler Awards at the second annual National High School Musical Theater Awards. Both were recognized with cash scholarships and awards. Ms. Payne was awarded the Jimmy Award for Best Performance By A Leading Actress, an honor that carries with it a four-year scholarship to NYU's Tisch School Of The Arts.

In 2011, the success of the Shuler Awards continued with 41 participating schools representing the greater Atlanta area, 35 adjudicators, and a memorable event on April 26, 2011.

In 2012, the Shuler Awards became a statewide celebration and will also be known as The Georgia High School Musical Theater Awards. 44 participating schools across Georgia and 55 adjudicators are donating their time and talent to this amazing program.

Please join us on Thursday, April 23, 2015 for the 7th Annual The Georgia High School Musical Theater Awards - Shuler Hensley Awards!


Updated: July 31, 2014