Moorhead High School Theatre Earns SpotLight Musical Theatre Program Honors

Moorhead High School’s fall musical “Children of Eden” has been recognized with Hennepin Theatre Trust’s highest honors — outstanding performance, outstanding production and outstanding orchestra — in the 2011-12 SpotLight Musical Theatre Program. The SpotLight Musical Theatre Program honors high school musicals and students by recognizing their extraordinary achievements.

Individual acting awards went to the following Moorhead High students: Drew Lausch as Father, Andrew Carlson as Adam/Noah, and Nina Grollman as Eve/Mama Noah for Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role; Sam Wisenden as Cain/Japeth for Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role; Devon Manney as Abel/Ham, Sarah Rice as Yonah, Matt Fossum as Seth/Shem and Kathryn Eggert as Aysha/Seth’s Wife for Honorable Mention Performance in a Supporting Role.

Rebecca Meyer-Larson, Moorhead High School’s fall musical director, said, “To be honored with an outstanding performance, production, and orchestra award for the third consecutive year is a testament to the support of the Moorhead community. These young people have been nurtured in the arts by parents, teachers and neighbors who enthusiastically applaud their efforts and loudly proclaim that the arts matter.”

Moorhead High’s production of “Children of Eden” will be featured at the seventh annual SpotLight Showcase, scheduled this year at 7 p.m., Monday, June 11, 2012, at the Orpheum Theatre. This evening celebrates and honors high school musical theatre accomplishments by featuring student performances mixed with award presentations. Last year’s event sold out and featured nearly 1,000 Minnesota students performing on the Orpheum stage. Tickets will go on sale at a later date.

Hennepin Theatre Trust established the SpotLight Musical Theatre Program after recognizing that none existed in Minnesota to honor excellence in high school musical theatre.

SpotLight’s benefits include the opportunity to work with local and national theatre educators and musical theatre professionals who offer training, insight through critical feedback and on-site school workshops. A group of evaluators assess each production with constructive written commentary and nominate honorees. Categories include outstanding performance in leading, supporting and featured roles, outstanding performance by a chorus, dance ensemble and student orchestra, outstanding overall performance of a musical and outstanding overall production of a musical. Shows are not compared or ranked against each other, so categories may have multiple honorees. Schools annually apply to participate and pay a nominal administration fee. SpotLight advocates for the importance of high school musical theatre education to support the statewide community of theatre artists, teachers and families who participate in this art form.