The shortlists for the awards, known as the CATS, feature eight nominations for two productions for a younger audience, Catherine Wheels' Huff and Vox Motus and the National Theatre of Scotland's (NTS) Dragon.
The special CATS Whiskers award, for outstanding contribution to Scottish theatre, will also go to the Imaginate Festival, which "has been producing excellent work for young people for the last 25 years".
More than 30 companies make the shortlists, and the final ceremony will be held at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow on June 8.
Joyce McMillan, the theatre critic and writer, said: "Engaging young people with theatre is the driving force of Imaginate, and what an amazing job they have been doing.
"They are very worthy recipients of a CATS Whiskers.
"However, Imaginate is not alone in a commitment to creating vibrant and innovative theatre for young people, as this year's shortlists demonstrate."
The NTS now has 83 nominations since its inception, and this year's shortlists include several debut nominees, including Datum Point, Grinagog, Iron-Oxide and Birds of Paradise.