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Spotlight Showcase returns to the historic State Theatre for the first time since 2019 June 13-14, 2022 shining a spotlight on Minnesota high school theater students

April 21, 2022

Hennepin Theatre Trust will recognize participants in the Spotlight Education program with honors and feature live performances by students across the state of Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (April 21, 2022) —Hennepin Theatre Trust announced today Spotlight Showcase, Minnesota high school theater’s biggest night, is returning to the historic State Theatre (805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis) for the first time since 2019 on Monday, June 13 and Tuesday, June 13 at 7:30 p.m. With honors and live performances, Spotlight Showcase celebrates high schools and students who participate in the Trust’s Spotlight Education program. Tickets are on sale now for Spotlight Showcase 2022: Heart of Hennepin.

Spotlight Showcase is Minnesota high school theater’s biggest celebration! Over 1,600 students participate in the awards and recognition event, presented by Hennepin Theatre Trust’s Spotlight Education program. After a year of participating in the Spotlight-evaluated shows or applying for the select Triple Threat, Technical Theater, Publicist and Orchestra tracks, students from across Minnesota will take the stage at the historic State Theatre. Appearances are also made by educators, community members and alumni.

Spotlight Showcase 2022: Heart of Hennepin will highlight Spotlight communities returning to downtown Minneapolis and recognize 100 years of entertainment in the Hennepin Theatre District. Spotlight Showcase proudly employs professional staff from both the Twin Cities and Broadway to collaborate with students across all areas of theater.

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

Monday June 13 7:30 p.m. State Theatre $20, $30, $50, $75, $100
Tuesday June 14 7:30 p.m. State Theatre $20, $30, $50, $75, $100

Support the work of Spotlight Education by becoming a Friend of Spotlight:

  • Level 1 ($100): Supports educational feedback by a teaching artist for each Spotlight evaluated production.
  • Level 2 ($75): Supports masterclasses for high school performers, technicians and musicians led by local and national teaching artists.
  • Level 3 ($50): Supports Spotlight’s monthly “Musical Theatre in a Minute” virtual series.
  • Level 4 ($30): Supports “Unpacking the Show,“ a resource that enhances the way educators approach theater critically and responsibly.

Hennepin Theatre Trust’s Spotlight Education program is an essential part of arts education in many Minnesota schools. Annually, we help nearly 8,000 students in more than 100 high schools build confidence, critical thinking, empathy, sense of community and knowledge of theater. The program supplements and enhances arts curricula through production assessments, masterclasses, and theater review writing increasing equitable access to quality theater education.

Spotlight schools enhance their own theater curriculum through masterclasses and workshops. Students gain insights and inspiration from local and touring theater professionals covering topics such as audition techniques, theater resume building and technical skills.

Community Conversations
Spotlight teaching artists facilitate community conversations for directors and students on a variety of topics in a safe, inclusive space to discuss and share experiences leading to future programming, resources and conversations. The conversations also explore issues they face in their local communities.

Critical Review
This program gives high school students the opportunity to attend and review Broadway productions. A writing program, Critical Review enhances critical thinking and creative response skills. Students receive press kits for each show and attend workshops led by experts in the field on topics ranging from lighting design to choreography.

Production Assessments
Spotlight arranges for trained theater professionals and educators to assess participating schools’ theater productions. The production assessment is an educational tool to encourage, inspire and enhance Spotlight schools’ theater programs and strengthen the skills of student artists — onstage and offstage.

Spotlight Showcase, the Trust’s annual recognition event, is Minnesota’s largest celebration of high school theater and provides 1,600 students the opportunity to perform at the historic State Theatre. Additionally, Spotlight Education partners with community organizations and elementary schools to create inclusive and sustainable arts experiences.

Spotlight Education is made possible with support from PNC Bank, Sun Country Airlines, United Properties and Interstate Parking.

Follow Spotlight Education at:
Instagram: @spotlight_MN
Facebook: /SpotlightMN
Twitter: @spotlightMN

Hennepin Theatre Trust drives cultural and economic vitality in Minnesota through leadership of the dynamic Hennepin Theatre District in downtown Minneapolis and educational programming that reaches every area of the state. Its historic theatres — Orpheum, State and Pantages — and event center at 900 Hennepin Avenue light up Hennepin Avenue with top-tier entertainment, including the best of Broadway and a wide variety of arts programming. Hennepin Theatre Trust is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Learn more at

Heart of Hennepin – celebrating 100 years of the Hennepin Theatre District
To honor the centennial, Hennepin Theatre Trust is kicking off a yearlong celebration for the Orpheum, State and Pantages theatres, along with The Hennepin event center and 824 Hennepin, home to the Brave New Workshop comedy theatre. This year-long centennial celebration honors the history of the Hennepin Theatre District and looks ahead to what the future holds for the arts, the Trust and downtown neighbors.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.