Through the Production Assessment process, Spotlight sends trained theatre professionals and educators to watch and assess participating school’s musical theatre productions. The Production Assessment is an educational tool to encourage, inspire and enhance Spotlight school’s musical theatre programs and strengthen the skills of student artists — onstage and offstage. Check the tabs below to learn more about the types of assessments every school has access to.
The productions that are eligible to participate in the Production Assessment process must categorize as one of the following and must be communicated in the show’s playbill/program as follows (see terms definitions below):
*Production is eligible to receive educational feedback, individual honors, and all production honors.
- A published musical, play, operetta or revue* (either currently held by a licensing house or in the public domain) that is presented with the approval or permission of the original creators or their representatives. Can be presented in the following ways: in-person performance, recording of in-person performance, live virtual performance, performance that contains live elements and pre-recorded elements.
- An original musical or play*, which features an original script, music and/or lyrics, and is covered under a valid copyright that is presented with the approval or permission of the original creators or their representatives. Schools must communicate with Spotlight Education if they choose to produce a show of this nature to ensure Spotlight can provide all the resources needed. Productions of this nature must be performed in one of the following formats:
• 90 minutes, no intermission
• 2+ hours, one intermission
Can be presented in the following ways: in-person performance, recording of in-person performance, live virtual performance, performance that contains live elements and pre-recorded elements.
- An original theatrical compilation of musical/text material from other sources* that is presented with the approval or permission of the original creators or their representatives. Can be presented in the following ways: in-person performance, recording of in-person performance, live virtual performance, performance that contains live elements and pre-recorded elements. Excludes: show choir, choral or vocal jazz arrangements.
- Junior productions** will be considered upon review of the length and difficulty of the material. Please contact Spotlight Education if you have any questions regarding show submission.
**Production may be eligible to receive educational feedback and production and individual honors upon approval from Spotlight Education.
- Pre-recorded productions (including pre-recorded Zoom productions)*** that are entirely composed of pre-recorded, virtual footage of students will be eligible for educational feedback and individual student honors only. Pre-recorded footage of a virtual performance only allows evaluators to see individual performances, and ensemble and design elements are not fully developed in a way that would allow Spotlight to fairly evaluate these productions. If there are extenuating circumstances or outlying cases, Spotlight Education will evaluate and honor certain production elements on a case by case basis.
***Production will be eligible to receive educational feedback and individual honors ONLY.
- In-person performance: a live performance with cast and crew.
- Recording of in-person performance: a video recording of an in-person performance.
- Live virtual performance: a performance that takes place on a virtual platform (Zoom, etc.) and is performed live, in real time with performers.
- Performance containing live and pre-recorded elements: a performance with a hybrid of live, in-person, and pre-recorded/produced elements.
- Pre-recorded production: A production that is entirely pre-recorded and presented on a virtual platform (Zoom, etc.).
All of our evaluations (Pre-, Technical, and Performance) are conducted by our Spotlight evaluators. These evaluators are professional artists and educators with a strong theatre background who have worked extensively in musical theatre performance, technical theatre, and or/educational theatre. All evaluators are required to participate in an annual training, and those interacting directly with students complete a background check.
Spotlight evaluators primary responsibilities and duties are:
- Attend mandatory pre-season evaluator orientation each year of evaluating services
- Be available to evaluate school productions (as per evaluator’s availability) and provide a written evaluation through the online form between 1-3 days after viewing production.
- Provide professional, detailed feedback when completing all evaluation forms with the intention to promote educational growth of individuals and high school programs.
Interested in serving as a Spotlight evaluator for the 2020-2021 season? Email us at SpotlightEducation@HennepinTheatreTrust.org.
Traditionally during a pre-evaluation, a Spotlight Education evaluator attends a final dress or technical rehearsal to engage with your students. In this way, the purpose of the pre-evaluation is to provide feedback prior to the opening of the production and give an informal congratulations to the students on their hard work. Spotlight Education also offers the option for a teaching artist to host a workshop with your students during a regular rehearsal, or at a different time during the school year in an area of your choosing. Here are the various ways in which you can utilize a pre-evaluation.
- Spotlight evaluator engages during the rehearsal process of a production to engage with your students in an area of your choosing. Options could include: diversity coaching, intimacy coaching, fight choreographer, vocal performance, video editing, etc.
- Having an artist watch a technical or dress rehearsal for your production and give verbal feedback following the run
- Host a workshop for students in your theatre program at any point throughout the school year in an area of your choosing
The technical evaluation includes a visit by an evaluator to a tech or dress rehearsal. Scheduling will be pre-arranged between Spotlight Education and your primary contact. The purpose of this visit is for the evaluator to observe the work of student technicians, designers, and managers as they are immersed in tech week. Evaluators are there to provide helpful and encouraging observations that energize and empower the students as they move toward the run of the show. Recognizing that our evaluators are inserting themselves into the artistic process at a busy time for the students, we encourage our evaluators to meet briefly with them at the beginning of the scheduled tech or dress rehearsal. The goal is to introduce themselves and clarify that their presence is in the spirit of educational support, not criticism. Our evaluators are visiting to be another pair of eyes, to reinforce the work of the educators and to help nurture the development of the technical student artists. The evaluators are not interested in the immediate achievement of the students in the rehearsal, but rather the work ethic and effort they display, helping them to grow through the process. This is the philosophy for all awarded honors.
The performance evaluation is designed to give your students and production team educationally focused feedback on production execution. The evaluation is also a determining factor for honors granted to your school and students. Three Spotlight-trained performance evaluators will attend your production as audience members. Each show is evaluated in several categories, including ensemble and individual performance for movement and dance, vocal performance, and execution of the technical aspects of the production.