Hennepin Theatre Trust announced today the spring 2012 SpotLight Musical Theatre Program honorees from among 56 Minnesota high schools, the most ever participating in the SpotLight Program. Now in its seventh successful year, SpotLight is the Trust’s flagship educational initiative that honors, supports and advocates for Minnesota high school musical theatre students and programs. This year, a record number of schools, including 13 new SpotLight schools and nine from greater Minnesota, are presenting musicals made possible by the collaboration of nearly 5,000 students. These musicals are annually seen by an estimated 107,000 audience members.
SPRING HONOREES—The new honorees from high schools who presented musicals in spring 2012 are from: Andover, Anoka, Benilde-St. Margaret’s (St. Louis Park), Blaine, Blake (Minneapolis), Breck (Minneapolis), Chanhassen, Columbia Heights, Concordia Academy (Roseville), Cretin-Derham Hall (St. Paul), DeLaSalle (Minneapolis), Hill-Murray (Maplewood), Jefferson (Alexandria), Lakeville South, Main Street School of Performing Arts (Hopkins), Minnetonka, Minnehaha Academy (Minneapolis), Monticello, Park (Cottage Grove), Richfield, Rogers, Southwest (Minneapolis), St. Francis, St. Paul Conservatory for the Performing Arts, Tartan (Oakdale), Thomas Jefferson (Bloomington) and Washburn (Minneapolis). Additional honors to schools presenting musicals in fall 2011 were announced in December. A list of participating schools is included at the end of this press release, the spring 2012 honorees by school are attached and a comprehensive list of fall and spring honors is available online at HennepinTheatreTrust.org/spotlight.
SPOTLIGHT SHOWCASE—Monday, June 11, 2012 at 7 p.m. at the Orpheum Theatre is the SpotLight Showcase, the annual culminating event in the SpotLight Musical Theatre Program. This professionally produced gala evening invites the public to join in celebrating dynamic student performances as students and schools are honored. This year’s Showcase will feature a student medley of songs from the Trust’s 2012/13 Broadway Season and a special performance from Broadway vocalist and SpotLight spokesperson Linda Eder. The names of two students to represent Minnesota at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards in New York will also be announced. Tickets, available for only $15, are on sale now in person at the State Theatre Box Office, by calling 1.800.982.2787 and through HennepinTheatreTrust.org. VIP ticket packages including additional restaurant tours, programming and gift offers are also available online.
Hennepin Theatre Trust, whose work includes arts-inspired community cultural development, established the SpotLight Musical Theatre Program in 2005 after recognizing that none existed in Minnesota to honor excellence in high school musical theatre. The program, still the only one of its kind in the state, includes the opportunity to work with musical theatre educators who offer training and critical feedback through on-site and remote video school workshops. Evaluators assess each production and nominate honorees. Categories include Outstanding Performance in leading, supporting and featured roles, Outstanding Performance by a chorus, dance ensemble and student orchestra, Outstanding Overall performance of a musical and Outstanding Overall Production of a musical. Awards are also given for technical achievement including stage management, sound and hair/makeup and for community engagement initiatives built around that school’s musical. Shows are not compared or ranked against each other, so categories may have multiple honorees. Schools annually apply to participate.