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The cast and crew of Westonka’s ‘Something Rotten’ production. (Submitted photo)

Mound Westonka High School Theatre wrapped a successful run of the 2021 fall musical “Something Rotten” at the end of November. The smash hit production was recently awarded a long list of accolades by the Hennepin Theatre Trust Spotlight Education Program, along with an invitation to the Spotlight Showcase next summer. This production featured 63 high school students in the cast, crews and pit orchestra.

“Something Rotten” brought theatre-goers back to the 90’s - the 1590’s that is! Set in Elizabethan England, “Something Rotten” is the hilarious tale of brothers Nick (Jack Hanson) and Nigel Bottom (Thomas Duggan), who set out to write the world’s first musical after a local soothsayer (Seth Worden) predicts that the future of theatre will involve singing, dancing and acting all at the same time. The brothers must succeed before the literary rock star William Shakespeare (Beckett James) steals their thunder yet again. With blockbuster song and dance numbers, this show left audiences excited and delighted with its larger than life characters and clever references to famous musicals..

Spotlight Education honors and supports Minnesota high school musical theater students and programs. Spotlight honors high school musicals and students by formally recognizing the extraordinary achievements and process of developing the young artists, onstage and offstage, in our state’s high school musical theater programs. The process of evaluation for the Spotlight Program includes a pre-evaluation, a technical evaluation, and three performance evaluations.

Spotlight Showcase is a professionally-produced event highlighting the hard work and talent of the students, teachers, families and community members that are part of the vibrant high school musical theatre community in Minnesota. The Showcase features a variety of performances, including technical students and orchestra. The individuals and schools that are honored through the production assessment evaluation process that receive an accolade in Achievement of Musical Theatre are invited to participate at Spotlight Showcase in June 2022.

MWHS Theatre earned a ticket this week to the showcase after receiving an Honorable Mention for Achievement in Musical Theatre.

“For our first musical back post COVID shut downs, we are so proud of the hard work and dedication this group put in!” said associate director Jamie Harms. “This show presented challenges, but with a young cast and crew the future of MWHS Theatre is really bright. This group rose to the challenge of a big musical and came together to produce something pretty magical.”

Some comments from the evaluation included:

“To the entire ensemble, thank you so much for bringing me along on your journey back to an alternate version of the 1590s! I had the immense pleasure of seeing the original Broadway cast in 2017 and all of you brought that same fun to life onstage. Congratulations!”

“I really enjoyed the great energy displayed onstage. The students clearly enjoyed the experience. It was fun to see their skills on display, as well as how much they clearly enjoyed being there.”

“Your technical team is really working on their toes, problem solving on their own, and taking ownership of their part in the show. I appreciate all around the drive to do well and get it right, which will translate to a great production. Your independence will also fully support what the actors are doing onstage. You are stepping up on your own and taking responsibility for the show.”

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