Honorees from Maple Grove Senior High School, Wayzata High School and Stillwater Area High School are recognized for their excellence in singing, acting and dancing and earned a trip to Broadway

Image courtesy Wayzata Public Schools.

MINNEAPOLIS—Hennepin Theatre Trust announced today the four students who were honored with the 2016-2017 Spotlight Education Triple Threat Award at the 12th annual Spotlight Showcase on June 12-13. The winners are Mary Burchill (Stillwater Area High School), Erik Dagoberg (Wayzata High School), Palmer Kraus (Maple Grove Senior High School) and Hannah Theisen (Maple Grove Senior High School).

Triple Threat honorees are praised for their excellence in singing, acting and dancing as well as demonstrating community leadership, teamwork and artistry. They were chosen from more than 80 Minnesota high school juniors and seniors. A group of 40 semi-finalists were invited to audition for a panel of local artists and Trust staff members. Twenty-four students were chosen as the Triple Threat Award finalists. Following a vigorous series of evaluations, four winners were selected who will be honored with the Spotlight Education Triple Threat Broadway Experience, presented by Sun Country Airlines. The Triple Threat Broadway Experience is an all-expenses paid trip to New York City to meet with industry professionals, participate in workshops and attend Broadway shows later in June.

Spotlight Education spokesperson, Laura Osnes, a Minnesota native and Broadway performer, will welcome the winners to New York City where they will receive singing and acting mentoring, participate in workshops and learn from industry professionals about the entertainment business. They will also attend a number of Broadway shows.

Mary Burchill graduated from Stillwater Area High School this spring. In past high school productions, she played the role of Cinderella in Cinderella, Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Leading Player in Pippin. She’s a member of High Honor Roll, Newspaper Quill and Scroll, and lettered in Academics three times. She will attend Texas Christian University in the fall.

Erik Dagoberg graduated from Wayzata High School this spring. Roles he has played at his high school included the Beast in Beauty and the Beast, Herr Schultz in Cabaret and Jimmy in Thoroughly Modern Millie. He was awarded Honorable Mention in a Leading Role as the Beast, and Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role as Jimmy from Hennepin Theatre Trust’s Spotlight Education. Erik was also selected as part of Wayzata senior royalty in the fall of 2016.

Palmer Kraus graduated from Maple Grove Senior High School this spring. His roles at Maple Grove included Enjolras in Les Miserables and Pippin in Pippin. He received an Outstanding Performance in a Lead Role award from Hennepin Theatre Trust’s Spotlight Education for his portrayal of Pippin. Next year he will attend Chapman University to study theatre.

Hannah Dayle Theisen is thrilled to be selected for Spotlight’s Triple Threat program and graduated this spring from Maple Grove Senior High School. She has played roles such as Cinderella and Leading Player in Pippin at her school, receiving both an Honorable Mention as well as Outstanding awards from Spotlight. She will attend Roosevelt University – Chicago College of Performing Arts in the fall, working toward a BFA in Musical Theatre.

As the Trust’s premier education program, now completing its 12th year, Spotlight Education supports and honors Minnesota high school students and programs focused on musical theatre. The program provides valuable educational, performing and creative experiences for more than 5,000 students in 87 schools throughout the state. These activities help foster essential life skills such as collaboration, critical thinking, problem-solving and self-expression which students carry into their adult lives.

Through Spotlight Education, participating students receive professional training and guidance to enhance their artistic, technical and performing skills. The program’s four key components are masterclasses, Critical Review, production assessments and Spotlight Showcase.

For a complete list of participating schools and honors, please visit HennepinTheatreTrust.org

Spotlight Showcase is made possible by Slumberland Furniture.

The Spotlight Education Triple Threat Broadway Experience is presented by Sun Country Airlines.

Follow Spotlight Education at:
Twitter: @spotlightMN
Instagram: #spotlight_MN
Facebook: Spotlight Education


HENNEPIN THEATRE TRUST is a nonprofit organization that creates positive change through the arts by bringing together people, businesses and organizations in WeDo™, the West Downtown MPLS Cultural District. We serve the community through our three historic theatres – the Orpheum, State and Pantages – and our unique arts, culture and education programs. Learn more at HennepinTheatreTrust.org and wedompls.org.

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