May 12, 2017

Triple Threat Award winners will be announced after performing at Spotlight Showcase June 12-13 at the State Theatre in Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS—Hennepin Theatre Trust announced today the 2016-2017 Triple Threat Award finalists recognized for their accomplishments and community leadership while participating in the Trust’s Spotlight Education program. The winners will be announced at the 12th annual Spotlight Showcase June 12-13 at the historic State Theatre (805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis).

Spotlight Education engages Minnesota high school students in the performing arts, as the flagship education program of the Trust. Laura Osnes, a Minnesota native, Broadway performer and former Spotlight Education participant, is the program’s 2016-2017 spokesperson.

The Trust will recognize outstanding individual achievement through The Triple Threat Award for junior or senior high school students who excel in singing, acting and dancing. More than 80 students submitted application portfolios. The number of applicants was narrowed down to a group of 40 semi-finalists who were invited to audition for a panel of local artists and Trust staff members. Twenty-four students were chosen as finalists.

The Triple Threat Award finalists will perform at the Spotlight Showcase each night and the top male and female finalists will be named a Triple Threat Award winner. The four winners will be honored with the Spotlight Education Triple Threat Broadway Experience, presented by Sun Country Airlines. The Triple Threat Broadway Experience is an all-expenses paid trip to New York City to meet with industry professionals, participate in workshops and attend Broadway shows.

The 12 finalists performing on Monday, June 12 are:
Eli Aronson (Minnehaha Academy, Minneapolis)
Jack Bechard (Eagan High School)
Bella Blackshaw (Southwest High School, Minneapolis)
Mary Burchill (Stillwater Area High School)
Erik Dagoberg (Wayzata High School)
Jonah Harrison (St. Paul Academy and Summit School)
Carson Knoer (Benilde-St. Margaret’s, Saint Louis Park)
Mila New (Eagan High School)
Kate Piering (Wayzata High School)
Mitchell Shaw (Bemidji High School)
Anamaya Shore (Edina High School)
Katrina Soholt (Washburn High School, Minneapolis)

The 12 finalists performing on Tuesday, June 13 are:
Maggie Bergman (Fridley High School)
Britta Cowan (Chaska High School)
Tegan Jones (East Ridge High School, Woodbury)
Palmer Kraus (Maple Grove Senior High School)
George Mulder (Eden Prairie High School)
Jake Nelson (DeLaSalle High School, Minneapolis)
Ileri Okikiolu (Farmington High School)
Hannah Theisen (Maple Grove Senior High School)
Patrick Timmons (White Bear Lake Area High School)
Quinton Walker (East Ridge High School, Woodbury)
Marin Wilts (Shakopee High School)
Gabriel Woodard (Saint John’s Preparatory School, Collegeville)
One of last year’s Triple Threat Award winners, Christine Hwang (Minnetonka High School) will mentor the finalists during the week leading up to Spotlight Showcase. She will also perform each night.

Now in its 12th year, Spotlight Education provides valuable educational, performing and creative experiences for more than 5,000 students in 87 schools throughout the state. These activities help foster essential lifelong skills such as collaboration, critical thinking, problem-solving and self-expression.

Through Spotlight Education, students enrolled in their high school musical theatre programs receive professional training and guidance to enhance their artistic, technical and performing skills. The wide-ranging program’s four key components are masterclasses, Critical Review, production assessments and Spotlight Showcase.

The Spotlight Showcase is set for June 12-13 at the historic State Theatre and will highlight the hard work and talents of 1,400 of the state’s finest musical theatre students and programs with live performances and honors including the Triple Threat Award announcements. Schools and students are also recognized for excellence in categories including individual performance, overall productions and technical achievement.

The two-night event celebrates the theme of “A Place to Call Home” because, for many students, the theatre become a home, a place where they can connect, create, grow and learn lifelong skills. The theme is brought to life through song, dance and stories from current Spotlight students, alumni and special guests.

Tickets for Spotlight Showcase are on sale now at the State Theatre Box Office, charge-by-phone at (800) 982-2787 and online at HennepinTheatreTrust.org.

Monday June 12 7 p.m. State Theatre $18
Tuesday June 13 7 p.m. State Theatre $18

A limited number of “Friends of Spotlight” tickets, which includes priority seating and a donation to the Spotlight Education program, are available for $25 to $100 by ordering at HennepinTheatreTrust.org.

All pricing includes a Building Restoration Fee of $1.50.

For a complete list of participating schools and honors, please visit HennepinTheatreTrust.org

Spotlight Showcase is made possible by Slumberland Furniture.

The Spotlight Education Triple Threat Broadway Experience is presented by Sun Country Airlines.

Connect with Spotlight Education online at:
Facebook: Spotlight Education
Twitter: @spotlightMN
Instagram: #spotlight_MN