After countless hours of rehearsals in 56 high schools across Minnesota, more than 500 participants in Hennepin Theatre Trust’s SpotLight Musical Theatre Program gathered at the Orpheum in Minneapolis for the 8th Annual SpotLight Showcase.
Performing to a sold-out house, students took the stage to perform numbers from beloved Broadway hits GREASE, GUYS & DOLLS, THOURGHLY MODERN MILIIE, BYE BYE BIRDIE, HELLO DOLLY and CHICAGO. Those working behind the scenes and in the orchestra pit of their school’s production weren’t omitted from being recognized for their excellence. Orchestra members from various schools performed a selection of QUEEN’s songs from the musical WE WILL ROCK YOU on stage to open the top of Act Two. The students who were recognized for their contributions to the behind the scenes world of musical theatre worked side by side with professionals running the sound and light boards and assisting in stage managing during the showcase.
The evening was capped by the announcement of the SpotLight Musical Theatre Program’s Triple Threat Honorees. This year’s honorees were Karl Amundson from Minnetonka High School and Emilee Hassanzadeh from Bloomington Jefferson High School. Amundson and Hassanzadeh excel in singing, dancing and acting and the two were chosen from 12 finalists after a vigorous series of auditions and evaluations.
With the selection of being a Triple Threat Honoree Amundson and Hassanzadeh bother earned a free trip to New York courtesy of the Trust. While in New York they will receive private singing and acting coaching, dance classes at Broadway Dance Center, meet with industry professionals, have a private audition with renowned Broadway casting agency Telsey and Company and attend several Broadway shows.
Photo Credit: Gus Wiltse