creativity is a journey...

performance is an adventure...

...and education is an art.

where will the arts take you?

“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”

Victor Hugo

Will you be studying Acting, Musical Theatre, or Vocal Performance in college?

We’re offering $18,000 in prizes to high school seniors!

Applications are due March 1, 2018, and there is a $50 fee to apply. Finalists will be notified by May 15. Finalists must be available to compete in person on Saturday, June 30 in the Detroit area.

Arts Detroit, a subsidiary of the performing arts nonprofit, Center Stage Studios, is producing the Center Stage High School Performing Arts Awards on Saturday, June 30, 2018.

The Center Stage High School Performing Arts Awards looks to award $18,000 in scholarship money (three grand prize awards of $5000 and three runner-up awards of $1000) to high school seniors who have graduated from a Michigan high school and have been accepted and are committed to a BA, BM, or BFA degree program in Acting, Musical Theatre, or Vocal Performance at an accredited 4-year university in the United States.

Through the Center Stage High School Performing Arts Awards, finalists will also have the opportunity to work with professionals in their field through a master class series before they perform.

Eligibility requirements: 

  1. Must graduate from a Michigan high school
  2. Must be accepted as an incoming freshman into an accredited 4-year university in the United States to pursue a BA, BM, or BFA degree in Acting, Musical Theatre, or Vocal Performance
  3. Must submit application, all required supplemental materials, and $50 application fee by March 1, 2018
  4. If selected as a finalist, must be available to travel to the Detroit area on June 30, 2018 to compete in final round of judging

To apply, you will need: 

  • An audition video:
    • For Acting applicants: 2 contrasting, contemporary monologues totaling approximately 2 minutes each
    • For Musical Theatre applicants: 2 contrasting 32-bar song cuts, one from pre- and one post-1965 musical theatre repertoire and one 90 second or less contemporary monologue; live accompaniment preferred
    • For Vocal Performance applicants: 1 art song in English and 1 art song or aria in a foreign language; songs should contrast in style and period and together should total no more than 6 minutes; live accompaniment preferred
    • For ALL applicants:
      • Please slate with the following information: your name, high school attending, and your pieces in order of performance (for plays, state show title and author; for musical theatre songs, state title of song and the name of the show; for classical repertoire, state title of song and composer)
      • Please record your video in a relatively distraction-free environment (no background noise, standing in front of a solid colored wall preferred)
      • Video should be one continuous file (rather than several short clips) uploaded to YouTube, Vimeo, etc
  • A letter of recommendation which speaks to your artistic abilities, dedication to your craft, and potential for future studies. This letter must be emailed to with the subject line “CSHSPAW First / Last Name letter of recommendation” by March 1, 2018.
  • A non-refundable $50 application fee

If chosen as a finalist:

You will perform at our in-person competition on Sunday, June 30, 2018!

You will perform with the same material with which you auditioned. Acting finalists are limited to 4 minutes and Musical Theatre and Vocal Performance applicants are limited to 6 minutes total. Musical Theatre applicants may perform longer than the 32 bar cut with which they auditioned as long as all material stays within the 6 minute limit.

An accompanist will be provided for Musical Theatre and Vocal Performance applicants. If selected as a finalist, you will be asked to upload a PDF of your repertoire (with your cuts clearly marked) which will be prepared in a binder for your accompanist in advance. You will have a very brief period of time to convey tempo markings/changes to your accompanist, but you will not have enough time to run the full songs. Students may not provide their own accompanist.

You will get to work with one-on-one with top educators in their fields in a master class!

Finalists will be separated by division (Acting, Musical Theatre, and Vocal Performance) and get to take part in a 2 hour master class taught by a top educator (to be announced at a later date).

Students will be asked to bring one piece into the master class which can be workshopped (a piece which is not being performed later in the date is encouraged but not required). Accompanists will be provided in Musical Theatre and Vocal Performance master classes.

This unique opportunity will provide students with invaluable insight into their craft from educators with whom they may otherwise never get the chance to work!


Application questions

What is the application deadline?

March 1, 2018 by 11:59PM EST. No late submissions will be accepted.

May I submit an application to more than one artistic area?

Yes, but you must submit a completely separate form, and that will require a separate application fee and a separate application video be made. Once you know which type of program you will be attending, you will need to contact us immediately at so which know which application to consider.

Do I have to have studied privately to apply?

No. Students with any artistic background may apply so long as you meet other eligibility requirements.

Does my artistic recommender have to be my school or private teacher?

Your recommender should be the person whom you consider to be the most familiar with your artistic abilities, regardless of their affiliation.

Are application fee waivers available?

At this time, no. But we hope to be able to offer them in the near future.

May I apply with material which contains adult content?

Overall, we advise using discretion, but yes, it is allowed. High school students performing material which is overtly sexual in nature or uses excessive swearing may make auditors uneasy, so you may want to avoid such pieces. That said, auditors will likely be familiar with your material, and it is also ill advised to revise your piece to avoid saying, for example, a curse word. Please perform the piece as the author intended!

What is most important in your selection of material is that it is age and situational appropriate (e.g. don’t sing Stars and the Moon, even if it is the highlight of your repertoire because even if you’ve somehow managed to be married and divorced by the end of high school, it was intended to be sung by someone far older). Also, please do not use a dialect.

Are Arts Detroit students allowed to apply?

Yes, but those students will reviewed by someone who is not on our staff to ensure there is no conflict of interest.

Finalists questions

How many finalists will be selected?

We are planning for 12 students to advance to the finals per artistic area.

May I bring my own accompanist or use a pre-recorded track?

No, all VP and MT students must perform live with our accompanist.

Will I be able to rehearse once with the accompanist?

You won’t have time to run all of your material with the accompanist, but you will have time to speak with them and set the tempos. Having your cuts clearly marked and noting any specific tempos or dynamics will be helpful in maximizing the time you have with your accompanist before the performance.

Can I use difference pieces than the ones I auditioned with?

We would prefer not. If you are insistent on changing your pieces, you will need to ask permission well in advance of the performance and receive express written permission.

Calling sponsors and patrons of the arts!

We need you! If you are interested in contributing to this event, we have some great sponsorship packages available.

View sponsorship information

Ready to take the next step?

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Contact Arts Detroit

Please either use the form above, or you may email us at:

Arts Detroit

We are located at:

18614 Ecorse Road
Allen Park, MI 48101
Phone: 313-427-2490 | Fax: 313-427-2459