The new Marquee program will recognize Central Ohio's top student talent.

Ten Central Ohio high schools have been chosen to participate in the inaugural CAPA Marquee Awards.

Modeled after the Tony Awards—considered the theater equivalent of the Oscars— the competition will evaluate students and their productions in eight categories, including best actor and actress in leading and supporting roles, Best Direction and Outstanding Student Orchestra Performance.

“We decided that it would be a great opportunity to showcase and celebrate the wonderful high school musical theater happening in Central Ohio,” says CAPA director of education Amy Handra.

The 10 participating high schools, which were selected on a first-come-first-serve basis, had to meet a few requirements, such as production deadlines that fall within the program window and being within the seven-county region.

Performances will be judged by adjudicators who work in theater, either in production or teaching. They will be sent to each school to evaluate students and productions using scoring rubrics.

The CAPA Marquee Awards participating high schools and their productions are: Bishop Watterson, “The Addams Family School Edition”; Dublin Jerome, “Into the Woods”; Eastmoor Academy, “Rent School Edition”; Groveport Madison, “Shrek the Musical”; Hilliard Darby, “Young Frankenstein”; Olentangy Orange, “Seussical”; Pickerington North, “Mamma Mia!”; Thomas Worthington, “Children of Eden”; Westerville Central, “Sweeney Todd School Edition” and Westerville South, “Catch Me If You Can.”

As part of the program, since November about 70 students have attended free master classes and conversations with touring Broadway cast members as well as other talent in their field of interest.

In early May, CAPA will announce up to five nominees in each of the award categories. At a “red carpet” event on June 3, students will showcase their productions at the Lincoln Theatre, with opening and closing numbers incorporating all participating high schools, after which winners will be announced.

The best actor and actress in a leading role will be nominated for the Jimmy Award, a national high school musical competition and scholarship program. With financial support from the Ohio Arts Council, the Columbus Foundation and the Greater Columbus Arts Council, the nominees will receive a trip to attend “Jimmys Week” in New York City for intensive professional training. They will compete on the national level for the 2019 Jimmy Awards for Best Performance by an Actor and Best Performance by an Actress.