Hennepin Theatre Trust Broadway season updates

Spotlight student and educator information

Online masterclasses

Dance Technique: Tricks

Krysti WiitaMichael Matthew Ferrell photoArtists: Michael Matthew Ferrell and Krysti Wiita
Date: Tuesday, May 26
Time: 6 – 7 p.m.
Location: Online, from the comfort of your home
Enroll: Complete the sign-up form to receive a link to participate. Signup closes at 9 a.m. on Monday, May 25.

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Today’s class looks at various tricks and helps break down some supercool ways to move to the groove.

Michael Matthew Ferrell – Michael is a three-time Ivey Award winner​. ​He was also named the 2016, 2015 & 2010 Choreographer of the Year by Lavender Magazine. He was awarded the AARP “50 Over 50: Disruptor Award” in 2017 and the WCCO “Making A Difference Award” for his work with Alive & Kickin in 2010.

Theater credits include: Victor Victoria, The Drowsy Chaperone, Hairspray, Guys and Doll’s, Singin’ In The Rain, Les Miserables, 42nd Street, On The Town and Oklahoma​ for Artistry Theatre. Smokey Joes Cafe, The Full Monty, Mamma Mia, La Cage aux Folles, Joseph, and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, 42 nd Street, Mary Poppins, White Christmas and Anything Goes for the Duluth Playhouse. Gypsy, Oliver! ,​ Cabaret, Aida, Company, Spring Awakening, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Evita, The Full Monty, Parade, The Rink and Passage of Dreams for Theatre Latté Da. Sneetches (World Premier), Shrek, Wizard of Oz, Annie, Babe The Sheep-Pig, Tommy, Spelling Bee, Disney’s High School Musical, A Year with Frog and Toad and​ Fashion 47 for The Children’s Theatre Company. Cats, Annie, The Sound of Music, Camelot, Music Man, My Fair Lady, Forever Plaid, Oklahoma​, and Can Can for Chanhassen Theatres.

Additionally, his work has been seen at Stages Theatre Company, Great Theatre, The Ordway Center for the Arts,​ Park Square Theater, The Ivey Awards, Children’s Theatre Curtain Call Ball, The Minnesota Opera Company, Sesame Street, Pantages Theatre, Hennepin Theatre Trust Spotlight Awards and Guthrie Theatre.

He is also the founder and executive/artistic director of Alive & Kickin, the Twin Cities premier musical ensemble of Rockin Senior Citizens in which he won the AARP “50 Over 50 Disruptor Award” and the WCCO “Making A Difference Award.”

Krysti Wiita – Krysti is a dancer and actor around the Twin Cities and assistant choreographer to Michael Matthew Ferrell. Krysti most recently performed in The Ordway’s newly imagined 42nd Street and Duluth Playhouse’s Smokey Joes Cafe. She has also performed at Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, Theatre Latte Da, and Artistry. As a choreography team with Ferrell, they have worked on many productions throughout the Midwest: Children’s Theatre Company, GREAT Theatre, Duluth Playhouse, Theatre Latte Da, Stages Theatre Company, Artistry, Circa ‘21 Playhouse, along with the Spotlight Awards through the Hennepin Theatre Trust, and many schools and dance studios including University of Minnesota Duluth, Minnetonka, Hill Murray, Spooner (WI), Eagan Summer Theatre, River Valley Dance Academy, and Youth Dance Ensemble.

Dissecting a Script – Part 1: The Reading

Sean Michael Dooley headshotArtist: Sean Michael Dooley
Date: Thursday, May 28
Time: 4 – 5:30 p.m.
Location: Online, from the comfort of your home
Enroll: Complete the sign-up form to receive a link to participate. Signup closes at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, May 27.

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How can a play include choral elements, have multiple narrators and a dream space while at the same time claim to be naturalistic? Can all those elements possible work together to tell a cohesive and moving story?

They can and do in Anna Ziegler’s play PHOTOGRAPH 51. This wonderfully moving story centers on Rosalind Franklin, one of the greatest female scientists in the 20th century, and her pursuit of the structure of DNA. Rosalind begins the play with the words: “We made the invisible visible. We could see atoms; not only see them-manipulate them, move them around. We were so powerful.” By the age of 37 she would be dead and three men would win the Noble Prize for her discovery.

Join us as we explore the life of an amazing women told in a delightfully non-realistic way. Just an interesting fact about the show: Nicole Kidman played Rosalind in a 2015 production of the play and won the London Evening Standard award for best actress for her portrayal.

Sean Michael Dooley – Sean Michael Dooley is a local actor, director and educator having moved to the Twin Cities to receive his MFA from the University of Minnesota back when that was a thing. He stayed in town to work with local companies like the History Theatre, Old Log Theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre, Illusion Theatre, Jungle Theatre, Children’s Theatre Company, Chameleon Theatre Circle, Door Shakespeare, Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, Zephyr Theatre, Sidekick Theatre, Bloomington Civic Theatre, Theatre Latte Da and the Guthrie Theatre, where he has appeared in over ten productions including Juno and the Paycock, The Winter’s Tale, Jane Eyre, Othello, 1776 and Ah! Wilderness. Sean’s film and television work includes the Netflix series Lady Dynamite, starring Maria Bamford, and Wilson, a feature film starring Woody Harrelson. When he’s not doing that, Sean teaches at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, where he is currently learning the meaning of online learning.

Dissecting a Script – Part 2: The Discussion

Sean Michael Dooley headshotArtist: Sean Michael Dooley
Date: Friday, May 29
Time: 4 – 5:30 p.m.
Location: Online, from the comfort of your home
Enroll: Complete the sign-up form to receive a link to participate. Signup closes at 9 a.m. on Thursday, May 28.

Sign Up

How can a play include choral elements, have multiple narrators and a dream space while at the same time claim to be naturalistic? Can all those elements possible work together to tell a cohesive and moving story?

They can and do in Anna Ziegler’s play PHOTOGRAPH 51. This wonderfully moving story centers on Rosalind Franklin, one of the greatest female scientists in the twentieth century, and her pursuit of the structure of DNA. Rosalind begins the play with the words: “We made the invisible visible. We could see atoms; not only see them-manipulate them, move them around. We were so powerful.” By the age of 37 she would be dead and three men would win the Noble Prize for her discovery.

Join us as we discuss this energizing piece of theatre.

Sean Michael Dooley – Sean is a local actor, director and educator having moved to the Twin Cities to receive his MFA from the University of Minnesota back when that was a thing. He stayed in town to work with local companies like the History Theatre, Old Log Theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre, Illusion Theatre, Jungle Theatre, Children’s Theatre Company, Chameleon Theatre Circle, Door Shakespeare, Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, Zephyr Theatre, Sidekick Theatre, Bloomington Civic Theatre, Theatre Latte Da and the Guthrie Theatre, where he has appeared in over ten productions including Juno and the Paycock, The Winter’s Tale, Jane Eyre, Othello, 1776 and Ah! Wilderness. Sean’s film and television work includes the Netflix series Lady Dynamite, starring Maria Bamford, and Wilson, a feature film starring Woody Harrelson. When he’s not doing that, Sean teaches at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, where he is currently learning the meaning of online learning.

Dance Technique: Lyrical Combo

Krysti WiitaMichael Matthew Ferrell photoArtists: Michael Matthew Ferrell and Krysti Wiita
Date: Tuesday, June 2
Time: 6 – 7 p.m.
Location: Online, from the comfort of your home
Enroll: Complete the sign-up form to receive a link to participate. Signup closes at 9 a.m. on Monday, June 1.

Sign Up

Today we are incorporating what has been learned so far and setting it on its feet. Our lyrical combo is a great class to help release some pent up emotion and let your hair down.

Michael Matthew Ferrell – Michael is a three-time Ivey Award winner​. ​He was also named the 2016, 2015 & 2010 Choreographer of the Year by Lavender Magazine. He was awarded the AARP “50 Over 50: Disruptor Award” in 2017 and the WCCO “Making A Difference Award” for his work with Alive & Kickin in 2010.

Theater credits include: Victor Victoria, The Drowsy Chaperone, Hairspray, Guys and Doll’s, Singin’ In The Rain, Les Miserables, 42nd Street, On The Town and Oklahoma​ for Artistry Theatre. Smokey Joes Cafe, The Full Monty, Mamma Mia, La Cage aux Folles, Joseph, and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, 42 nd Street, Mary Poppins, White Christmas and Anything Goes for the Duluth Playhouse. Gypsy, Oliver! ,​ Cabaret, Aida, Company, Spring Awakening, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Evita, The Full Monty, Parade, The Rink and Passage of Dreams for Theatre Latté Da. Sneetches (World Premier), Shrek, Wizard of Oz, Annie, Babe The Sheep-Pig, Tommy, Spelling Bee, Disney’s High School Musical, A Year with Frog and Toad and​ Fashion 47 for The Children’s Theatre Company. Cats, Annie, The Sound of Music, Camelot, Music Man, My Fair Lady, Forever Plaid, Oklahoma​, and Can Can for Chanhassen Theatres.

Additionally, his work has been seen at Stages Theatre Company, Great Theatre, The Ordway Center for the Arts,​ Park Square Theater, The Ivey Awards, Children’s Theatre Curtain Call Ball, The Minnesota Opera Company, Sesame Street, Pantages Theatre, Hennepin Theatre Trust Spotlight Awards and Guthrie Theatre.

He is also the founder and executive/artistic director of Alive & Kickin, the Twin Cities premier musical ensemble of Rockin Senior Citizens in which he won the AARP “50 Over 50 Disruptor Award” and the WCCO “Making A Difference Award.”

Krysti Wiita – Krysti is a dancer and actor around the Twin Cities and assistant choreographer to Michael Matthew Ferrell. Krysti most recently performed in The Ordway’s newly imagined 42nd Street and Duluth Playhouse’s Smokey Joes Cafe. She has also performed at Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, Theatre Latte Da, and Artistry. As a choreography team with Ferrell, they have worked on many productions throughout the Midwest: Children’s Theatre Company, GREAT Theatre, Duluth Playhouse, Theatre Latte Da, Stages Theatre Company, Artistry, Circa ‘21 Playhouse, along with the Spotlight Awards through the Hennepin Theatre Trust, and many schools and dance studios including University of Minnesota Duluth, Minnetonka, Hill Murray, Spooner (WI), Eagan Summer Theatre, River Valley Dance Academy, and Youth Dance Ensemble.


Director opportunities

2019-2020 Spotlight Education  school registration

Spotlight Education  is now accepting school registration for the 2019-2020 school year. If you are new school interested in joining the program, please fill out this blank registration form and contact Spotlight Education  at SpotlightEducation@HennepinTheatreTrust.org for any questions. If you are a returning school, please email Spotlight Education  for your registration form.

Please note: To ensure that Spotlight Education  can continue to serve high school musical theater programs and students across the state of Minnesota, Spotlight  will be offering a tiered system of participation. As of fall 2019, Spotlight  schools have the opportunity to choose their level of involvement in the program at the time of registration. There are two different tracks – the production assessment track and the non-assessment track. Learn more about this change.

Director resources

Director’s handbook (PDF) – The Spotlight Education 2019-2020 director’s handbook provides the most up-to-date information about Spotlight Education, including processes, fees, deadlines and key events occurring across the 2019-2020 season. The content is intended for theater directors and their creative teams at both current and prospective Spotlight schools.

Teacher speaking students gathered, standingSnipe image (JPG) – Acknowledge your school’s participation in Spotlight Education  in your production’s program.

General press release (DOCX) – A general information press release about Spotlight Education for your local media.

Honors press release (DOCX) – A template press release announcing your performance’s recognition from Spotlight Education.