The St. John’s Prep theater program in Collegeville has been named as one of the Hennepin Theatre Trust’s Spotlight Schools for 2014. This prestigious program supports Minnesota high school musical theater organizations. St. John’s Prep is the only school in Stearns, Sherburne or Benton counties to receive this recognition. It’s one of just eight Catholic schools recognized.
Becoming a Spotlight School for the Hennepin Trust means St. John’s Prep will be given special access to professional workshops, mock auditions, backstage tours and technical training. The Hennepin Trust will also offer professional critiques of St. John’s Prep’s performances. The Hennepin Trust is the owner of the Minneapolis’ historic Orpheum, State, Pantages and New Century theaters. Its goal is to foster the arts and foster cultural development.
St. John’s Prep has a strong performing arts curriculum. The school stages two large theater productions each year on its Collegeville campus as well as at the Paramount Theatre in St. Cloud. This year, it will perform Blithe Spirit Nov. 11-18. The school’s spring musical, Grease, is scheduled for March.
“This honor showcases Prep’s commitment to theater and further strengthens our status as an advocate for theater arts,” says Assistant Principal Paul Menard. “It shows we have an established, reputable program not just in Central Minnesota, but also in the entire state.
“Kids with all sorts of different talents and exposure to theater come together to perform at St. John’s Prep. I’m always impressed with the cooperative efforts of our students, parents and staff. I’m also proud of our ability to stage such large well-known productions with such a small student body. Our students like to get involved in our shows. Of our 315 students about 100 are involved in our productions each year.”
Besides support from the Hennepin Theatre Trust, the Spotlight School honor also connects St. John’s Prep with other Spotlight schools and fosters relationships to share resources. Spotlight schools will often collaborate on buying or sharing costumes, props, set pieces and more. St. John’s Prep has already begun to reach out to schools to donate or rent out costumes, props and sets from previous productions.
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