The Hennepin Theatre Trust recently announced that two students in its SpotLight Musical Theatre Program, Emily Nies from White Bear Lake High School and Daniel Piering from Wayzata High School, were selected to represent Minnesota at the National High School Musical Theatre “Jimmy” Awards—set for 7:30 p.m. Monday, June 25, at the Minskoff Theatre in New York City.
The results were announced during the Trust’s June 11 SpotLight Showcase in Minneapolis, an annual celebration honoring students from 56 Minnesota high schools for excellence in musical theatre. Last year, Ryan McCartan from Minnetonka High School won the national Jimmy Award for Best Performance by an Actor.
Emily Nies and Daniel Piering participate through their respective high schools in the Hennepin Theatre Trust’s SpotLight Program, its flagship educational initiative. The two were chosen through a vigorous series of auditions and evaluations that resulted in their being selected as SpotLight Triple Threat Award winners, an honor that includes the privilege of going forward to the National Awards. They and a parent will travel to New York courtesy of the Trust, Dougherty Staffing Solutions and Sun Country Airlines.
Daniel Piering recently graduated from Wayzata High School and will be attending the Guthrie B.F.A. program this fall. He has also performed with Theater Latté Da, Children's Theatre Artist Training, Blue Water Theatre and last year's "Croon and Swoon" SpotLight Cabaret. He was a 2012 Minnesota Public Radio Varsity Featured Round Artist, a Minnesota Scholar of Distinction in Theatre Arts, a National Honor Society member and a Wayzata Student Council Executive Board Member. He has also studied the cello for eight years and was a part of the Top 12 Triple Threat Finalists last year.
As part of the national process, Piering will get private coaching, participate in master classes and rehearsals and compete for the opportunity to receive the national Jimmy Award for Best Performance by an Actress and Actor. Students also receive opportunities for merit scholarships, professional advancement and other prizes. For more information, visit www.nhsmta.com.
Two 2011 students represented Minnesota at last year’s National High School Musical Theatre Awards including Ryan McCartan, who graduated last year from Minnetonka High School. He has since moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in TV, film and theatre while working as a production assistant at Universal Studios Hollywood.
The 2012 national representatives, Nies and Piering, were chosen from among this group of Triple Threat finalists: Ryan Fargo from Minnetonka High School, Karl Amundson from Minnetonka High School, John Jamison from Southwest High School (Minneapolis), Dylan Rugh from White Bear Lake Area High School,Danny Adams from Totino-Grace High School (Fridley), Maggie Matcjek from Wayzata High School, Morgan Clarkson from Cretin Derham Hall (Saint Paul), Kayla Peters from Chaska High School, Jacqueline Schneiderfrom Hill Murray School (Maplewood) and Grace Chermak from Wayzata High School.
Hennepin Theatre Trust is the non-profit owner of the historic Orpheum, State, Pantages and the newly developed New Century Theatres.