Moorhead High Theater Students to be Honored June 3

Spotlight Musical Theatre Program logoMoorhead High and its musical theatre students will be honored at the Hennepin Trust’s SpotLight Musical Theatre Program.  The eighth annual SpotLight Showcase will take place at 7 p.m., Monday, June 3, 2013 at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis. SpotLight is Hennepin Theatre Trust’s flagship educational initiative which honors, supports and advocates for Minnesota high school musical theatre students and programs. This year, 56 schools including nine from greater Minnesota, are presenting musicals made possible by the collaboration of almost 5,000 students and are annually seen by an estimated 105,000 audience members.

Moorhead High presented The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and for its achievements is receiving some of Hennepin Theatre Trust’s highest honors:

  • Outstanding Performance
  • Outstanding Production
  • Outstanding Chorus
  • Outstanding Orchestra

Individual acting awards went to the following students:

  • Devon Manney as William Barfee – Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role
  • Nina Grollman as Olive Ostrovsky – Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role
  • Noah Johnson as Leaf Coneybear – Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role
  • Annie Cameron as Mary Martha – Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role
  • Jade Krsnak as Logainne – Honorable Mention Performance in a Leading Role
  • Emily Kari as Rona Lisa Peretti – Honorable Performance in a Supporting Role
  • Cameron Wintersteen as Principal Panch – Honorable Performance in a Supporting Role
  • Drew Swenson as Chip Tolentino – Honorable Performance in a Supporting Role
  • Karina Twedt as Marcy Park – Honorable Performance in a Supporting Role
  • Jordan Hartjen as Mr. Ostrovsky/Security – Honorable Performance in a Featured Role
  • Tanner Tweten as Carl Dad – Honorable Performance in a Featured Role
  • Colby Schwartzwalter as Dan Dad – Honorable Performance in a Featured Role

The SpotLight Musical Theatre Program celebrates high school musicals and students by recognizing extraordinary achievements and helping to develop young

talent in Minnesota’s high school musical theatre programs. Moorhead High and its musical theatre students will also be honored at the eighth annual SpotLight Showcase. The gala evening celebrates and honors 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.

Moorhead High School’s director of theater, Rebecca Meyer-Larson said, “This is our fourth consecutive year receiving the ‘Outstanding Production’ award, SpotLight’s highest honor. The honor recognizes a tradition of excellence at Moorhead High. These young people have been nurtured in the arts by parents, teachers, and neighbors who enthusiastically applaud their efforts and loudly proclaim that the arts matter.  We are thrilled to be validated for our creative efforts”

Hennepin Theatre Trust, non-profit owner of the historic Orpheum, State, Pantages and the newly developed New Century Theatres, is an independent organization dedicated to enriching the vibrant cultural atmosphere of the Twin Cities and 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 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. SpotLight advocates 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.