Health and safety protocols in our theatres

Student Publicist

Student Publicist

About the program

Students in the Critical Review and Student Liaison programs with interest or experience in writing, marketing and social media are invited to apply as a Student Publicist with a submission of required materials including: headshot, resume, writing prompts and supporting documentation (ex. photos, videos, paperwork, etc.) of their work. An interview and director references will be requested.

Working closely with Spotlight staff, a student publicist will create content and promote Spotlight Showcase and surrounding pre/post show events by being creative, self-starters, who work well under direction and timelines.

Jimmy Awards®: Student Reporter program

Each season, both Student Publicists will be invited to apply for the National High School Musical Theater Awards’ Student Reporter Program. Each year, the Jimmy Awards invites select Student Reporters from participating Regional Awards Programs to cover Jimmy Awards events through social media on both the official Jimmy Awards channels and the student’s personal channels. Student Reporters work directly with the Jimmy Awards Digital team which allows them to receive an insider look at the digital marketing strategy of Jimmy Awards coverage while gaining insight into the field as a whole.

See the Jimmy Awards Student Reporter Search webpage for more information.

Student Publicist and Jimmy Award Student Reporter Calendar 2023*


  • March 13 – April 3: Round 1 – Submission Window
  • April 7: Round 2 invites extended
  • April 12, 4 – 6 p.m.: Round 2 – Virtual interviews (invite only)
  • April 14: Student Publicists 2023 announced
  • April 17: Student Publicist applications submitted for Jimmy Awards Student Reporter program (if applicable)

Rehearsals and Coachings

  • May 30, 4 – 8 p.m.: Mentor meeting and Rehearsal
  • June 1, 4 – 8 p.m.: Mentor meeting and Rehearsal
  • June 5, 4 – 8 p.m.: Mentor meeting and Rehearsal
  • June 6, 4 – 8 p.m.: Mentor meeting and Rehearsal
  • June 7, 4 – 8 p.m.: Mentor meeting and Rehearsal

Load-In / Tech / Dress Rehearsal / Showcase Performances / After Party

  • June 8, 2 – 9 p.m.: Load-in and Rehearsal
  • June 10, TBA: Tech
  • June 11, TBA: Tech
  • June 12: Showcase #1
    • 1:30 p.m.: Call Time
    • 2 p.m.: Dress Rehearsal 
    • 5:30 – 7 p.m.: Dinner
    • 7 p.m.: Half-hour Call 
    • 7:30 PM: Showcase #1
    • Immediately following: After Party
  • June 13: Showcase #2
    • 1:30 p.m.: Call Time
    • 2 p.m.: Dress Rehearsal 
    • 5:30 – 7 p.m.: Dinner
    • 7 p.m.: Half-hour Call 
    • 7:30 p.m.: Showcase #2
    • Immediately following: After Party

New York Experience**

  • June 24 – 27: Jimmy Awards Student Reporter Program

*All events take place in-person in Downtown Minneapolis unless otherwise stated. Attendance policy: Students must have no conflicts with the dates listed above. Only mandatory school-related conflicts (including graduation or graduation required-events) will be excused.

**Students must have no conflicts during the New York Experience dates to be eligible.

Round 1 – Submission period

Applications for Student Publicist 2023 have closed. Please email [email protected] with any questions.

Students will submit the following materials to be reviewed by the Student Publicist Submission Panel. Invites will be extended to a limited number of students to advance to Round 2 – Virtual Interviews. All students will receive feedback from the submission panelists on their initial submission to further their educational and artistic growth. At this time, students will also have the option to opt-in to being considered for the Jimmy Awards®’ Student Reporter Program. Round 1 submission materials include:

  • Headshot (or portrait photo) 
  • Theater-related resume
  • Short answer question:
    • In 200 words or less, please describe how Spotlight Education has impacted or enhanced your high school theater experience.
  • Social media posts
    • Upload two (2) examples of your most effective social media posts as it pertains to theater. These can be screenshots of posts you have created for your personal social media platforms or for your theater program’s platforms. If you don’t have previous examples, feel free to create and submit mock-ups.
  • Social Media Caption:
    • Create a caption for the image provided, linked HERE. This photo is of our Senior production number students from 2019, rehearsing with Spotlight Showcase Artistic Staff in Studio 900 at The Hennepin in downtown Minneapolis, as they prepare for Spotlight Showcase 2019 performances. Please create a caption that drives ticket sales. Optional hashtags to use: #spotlighteducation #spotlightkids #spotlightshowcase2023
  • Jimmy Awards® Video
    • Create a video up to 60 seconds in length showing or describing how you would uniquely cover The Jimmy Awards on social media, focusing on promoting the live stream of the Jimmy Awards ceremony. The video should include at least one unedited segment of at least 20 seconds in length with you speaking directly to the camera. The videos must not include any performance footage; the content of the videos is otherwise up to you. Any pre-recorded music used must be royalty-free.
    • We want to see your personality shine in this video! Show us how you would use your unique perspective to build interest in and awareness of the Jimmy Awards. This is an opportunity to showcase your skills in event coverage, visual storytelling, video editing, and social media. 
    • Want to see what makes a successful Jimmy Awards Student Reporter video? Our very own Cecilia deLeon was selected in 2022! See her video here.

Round 2 – Virtual Interview

Select students from Round 1 will be invited to a virtual interview with the submission panel. Students will sign up for an interview time slot and should come prepared to talk about their submissions and to answer any questions about their interest in the Student Publicist role and their experience. The two (2) Student Publicists will be announced at the specified date each season. 

What does Spotlight Education look for in a Student Publicist?

  • Skill and willingness to grow in social media, writing and engagement
  • Preparedness
  • Communication
  • Timeliness
  • Emotional preparedness
  • Leadership in high school theater program
  • Diverse experience
  • Storytelling abilities