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PREVIEW: The Return of the Spotlight Showcase (Hennepin Theatre Trust)

A promotional image for the Hennepin Theatre Trust’s Spotlight Education Spotlight Showcase event.

The Spotlight Showcase, Minnesota high school theater’s biggest night, returns to the historic State Theatre in Minneapolis this June. This two-evening affair organized by the Hennepin Theatre Trust unites high school theater students from across the state for collaborative activities culminating in a performance showcase.

The Spotlight Showcase returns live for the first time since 2019 on Monday, June 13 and Tuesday, June 14 at 7:30 p.m. This celebration of high school theatre programs and their students engages participates from the Trust’s Spotlight Education program.

Spotlight Showcase 2022: Heart of Hennepin engages over 1,600 students participate in the awards and recognition event. 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.

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

About the Program

Hennepin Theatre Trust’s Spotlight Education program is an essential part of arts education in many Minnesota schools. Annually, it helps 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 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.

Amy Donahue