East Ridge High School receives Hennepin Theatre Trust Fall 2012 SpotLight Musical Theatre Program honors

East Ridge High School and Hennepin Theatre Trust have announced the new Fall 2012 honorees from Minnesota high schools recognizing theatre accomplishments by school and category for the 2012-13 SpotLight Musical Theatre Program. Now in its eighth successful year, SpotLight is Hennepin Theatre Trust’s flagship educational initiative, which honors, supports and advocates for Minnesota high school musical theatre students and programs. This year, 56 schools including nine from greater Minnesota, are presenting musicals made possible by the collaboration of almost 5,000 students and are annually seen by an estimated 105,000 audience members. 

East Ridge High School presented Irving Berlin’s White Christmas on Nov. 30 to Dec. 9, 2012 and for its achievements is receiving the following honors: 

  • Outstanding Overall Performance
  • Honorable Mention Overall Production
  • Honorable Mention Performance by a Student Orchestra
  • Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role: Austin Robinson as Bob Wallace, Pari Cariaga as Betty Haynes, and Naomi Ridley as Judy Haynes
  • Honorable Mention Performance in a Leading Role: Matt Thorsen as Phil Davis
  • Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role: Katherine Spicuzza as Martha Watson
  • Honorable Mention Performance in a Supporting Role: Ryan Richardson as Henry Waverly and Caroline Kieffer as Susan Waverly
  • Honorable Mention Performance in a Featured Role: Ethan Hallstrom as Ralph Sheldrake, Anna Reimann as Rhoda, Claire Emery as Rita, Garrett Hildebrandt as Ezekiel Foster, Brendan Finn as Mike (the stage manager), Jamila Joiner as Dance Captain, Amanda Durose as Mrs. Snoring Man, and Michael McCutchen as Mr. Snoring Man

“I am very, very proud that our school has been highlighted by the Spotlight program and I am proud of our 18 awards,” said Aaron Harper, Principal of East Ridge High School. Director Amanda Hestwood added, “After three years of having our students participate with individual honors, knowing that for the first time, our students will perform in June as an ensemble on the Orpheum stage is really a great honor.”  

The SpotLight Musical Theatre Program celebrates high school musicals and students by recognizing extraordinary achievements and helping to develop young talent in Minnesota’s high school musical theatre programs. East Ridge High School and its musical theatre students will also be honored at SpotLight’s culminating event, the eighth annual SpotLight Showcase, scheduled this year at 7 p.m., Monday, June 3, at the Orpheum Theatre. This gala evening celebrates and honors high school musical theatre accomplishments by featuring dynamic student performances mixed with award presentations. Last year’s event sold out and featured more than 800 Minnesota students performing on the Orpheum stage. Tickets will go on sale on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013. Please check Hennepin Theatre Trust’s website for updated information. 

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