SPA's September 2017 production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, the school's first student-directed musical, has been awarded fourteen Spotlight Awards for both performances and technical elements.
The Spotlight Awards are a program of the Hennepin Theatre Trust; throughout the school year, Spotlight evaluators attend participating high school's musical performances and award honors to selected productions, ensembles, and individuals. These culminate in a showcase at the Orpheum Theater in downtown Minneapolis in early June.
Putnam County was directed by Jonah Harrison '18, who proposed the idea for an entirely student-directed and student-produced musical in the spring of 2017. Jonah and his creative team (JJ Gisselquist '18, Music Director/Orchestra Conductor; Maya Shrestha '18, Assistant Director/Stage Manager; and Tucker Waltenbaugh '18 and Sabrina Rucker '18, Lighting and Sound Designers) then auditioned the cast, who rehearsed over the summer in preparation for two performances on September 15 and 16. The entire cast, crew, and orchestra was made up of SPA students; faculty members Eric Severson (US Theater/English) and Anne Klus (US Choirs) served as faculty advisors.
The Spotlight awards for Putnam County include:
Honorable Mention: Overall Performance
Honorable Mention: Ensemble Performance
Honorable Mention: Student Orchestra
Honorable Mention: Sound and Lights
Honorable Mention for Performance in a Leading Role: Dorienne Hoven
Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role: Drew Fawcett
Honorable Mention for Performance in a Supporting Role: Max Moen
Honorable Mention for Technical Achievement: JJ Gisselquist (music direction), Jonah Harrison (directing), Sabrina Rucker (sound & lighting), Tucker Waltenbaugh (sound & lighting)
Evaluator Shout-Out: Ethan Asis, Ananya Narayan, Henry Vlietstra
Congratulations to the entire cast and crew!