The inaugural Popejoy Awards ceremony and performance will be held on Sunday, May 8 at 6:30 p.m. The Awards will showcase the best of New Mexico’s high school musical theater talent performing selections from the American musical theater canon. The Tony Awards-style show features acting, production, and direction awards for high school productions and performers.

Sponsored by 2 KASA-TV, the show is directed by Hal Simons, choreographed by Wendy Barker, arranged by Todd Lowry and stage managed by Anna Sanchez. The show also features musical direction by Lina Ramos and will be hosted by Albuquerque native and co-star of the feature films 3:10 to Yuma and The Lone Ranger, Chad Brummett. Currently the host of 2KASA Style, Brummett holds a BA in Theatre from the University of New Mexico.

Nominations for the Popejoy Awards are based on scores determined by Popejoy’s qualified adjudicators, who have been attending local high school musical theater productions since November. Each performance is scored on direction, overall production, and performance. Acting award nominees will perform solos at the Popejoy Awards along with opening and closing numbers as an ensemble, numbers that the students have only one week to learn and rehearse.

Acting awards will be determined by a combination of adjudicated scores and those from a live panel of judges at the Popejoy Awards Ceremony. All other awards will be determined by adjudicated score only. Winners will be announced live at the ceremony, which is open to the public.

Popejoy Award winners for Best Actor and Best Actress will participate in the National High School Musical Theater Awards in June. Students live in New York for a week, training with Broadway coaches and performers, before the national awards ceremony. The two New Mexico winners will compete with winners from 31 other regional awards from across the country for awards and scholarship opportunities.

Tickets for the inaugural Popejoy Awards ceremony and performance are currently on sale and available at the UNM Ticketing Offices at the UNM Bookstore and WisePies Arena Aka The Pit and online at UNM Tickets. To charge tickets by phone, call UNM Ticketing at (505) 925-5858 or (877) 664-8661 Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets cost $5 for students and $15 for the general public. Support seats, which include a $10 donation to the Popejoy Awards, are available for $25.