Hennepin Theatre Trust announced this week that 56 schools will participate in the 2012-13 SpotLight Musical Theatre Program, including two schools in the Lake Minnetonka area. Now in its eighth year, SpotLight is the trust’s flagship education initiative which honors, supports, provides training and advocates for Minnesota high school musical theatre students and programs.
Performances by students from both Mound Westonka High School (My Fair Lady) and Wayzata High School (The Sound of Music) will be part of this year's SpotLight Musical Theatre Program, which celebrates high school musicals and students by recognizing extraordinary achievements and helping to develop young talent in Minnesota’s high school musical theatre programs.
Statewide, SpotLight musicals are made possible by the collaboration of almost 5,000 students and are annually seen by an estimated 105,000 audience members.
Schools and participating students will be honored at SpotLight’s culminating event, the eighth annual SpotLight Showcase, held at 7 p.m., Monday, June 3, 2013 at the Orpheum Theatre. This gala evening recognizes high school musical theatre accomplishments by featuring dynamic student performances mixed with award presentations. Last year’s event sold out and featured more than 800 Minnesota students performing on the Orpheum stage.
Hennepin Theatre Trust, owner of the historic Orpheum, State, Pantages and New Century Theatres, is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to arts-inspired community cultural development. The Trust established the SpotLight Musical Theatre Program after recognizing that none existed in Minnesota to honor excellence in high school musical theatre. The Trust supports participating schools by providing high-quality learning, performing and creative experiences for students to develop and empower the next generation of innovative arts leaders.
SpotLight’s benefits include the opportunity to work with local and national theatre educators and musical theatre professionals who offer training, insight through critical feedback and on-site school workshops.
A group of evaluators is retained by the Trust to assess each production with constructive written commentary 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. Shows are not compared or ranked against each other, so categories may have multiple honorees.
Schools annually apply to participate and pay a nominal administration fee. SpotLightadvocates for the importance of high school musical theatre education to support the statewide community of theatre artists, teachers and families who participate in this art form.
This activity is funded, in part, by the Minnesota State Arts Board through the arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the Legacy Amendment vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.