by Dennis Dalman
St. John’s Prep School is one of 94 schools in Minnesota chosen to participate in the 23rd annual Hennepin Theatre Trust’s “Spotlight Education” program.
Two other schools in this area chosen as participants are Sartell High School and Sauk Rapids-Rice High School.
Spotlight Education works with high schools as a central part of the schools’ arts curriculum. It is expected to benefit more than 8,000 students who are interested in partaking in theater arts this year.
The program is made possible by supporting grants from corporations and from the Minnesota State Arts Board via Hennepin Theatre Trust, a non-profit organization that supports and promotes theater in the Twin Cities area and (through Spotlight Minnesota) all throughout Minnesota.
At the 94 schools, the program supplements and enhances high-school theater programs through production assessments, workshops, theater-review writing and widespread recognition of theater programs and students involved in theater arts. Spotlight Education also partners with local organizations and elementary schools to create inclusive, sustainable arts experiences.
The “Spotlight” program sends trained theater professionals and educators to observe and to assess participating schools’ theater productions. That process helps students strengthen their skills onstage and offstage. Students can attend any and all skills-building workshops free of charge.