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Ryan McCartan Named Best Actor at Nat'l High School Musical Theater Awards


Minnesota SpotLight Student Ryan McCartan Named Best Actor at National High School Musical Theater Awards in New York, June 27


· Ryan McCartan, recent Minnetonka High School graduate and a Triple Threat Award-winning participant in Hennepin Theatre Trust's SpotLight Musical Theatre Program, was named Best Actor at the June 27, 2011, National High School Musical Theater Awards held at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway in New York City. McCartan was one of two students to receive a Jimmy Award, the top honor in the program. He performed Jason Robert Brown's "Someone to Fall Back On" as his solo. Shauni Ruetz of Rochester, NY was named Best Actress. McCartan and Ruetz will receive $10,000 scholarship awards and consideration for other professional advancement opportunities.

· Sarah Cartwright, an award-winning SpotLight participant and recent Eastview High School graduate and theatre standout, also represented Minnesota at the National High School Musical Theater Awards. Cartwright impressed judges and audiences with her acting and vocal abilities. Cartwright will attend Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois to study acting.

· McCartan and Cartwright were selected to compete in the National Awards through a vigorous audition process conducted through Hennepin Theatre Trust's SpotLight Musical Theatre Program. They and their parents traveled to New York, courtesy of the Trust and Sun Country Airlines, participated in master classes and received professional coaching. The SpotLight Musical Theatre Program is the Trust's flagship educational initiative honoring excellence in musical theatre.

Additional Bio. Info: Ryan McCartan is 18, lives in Excelsior and is a 2011 graduate of Minnetonka High School where he was very active in his Drama Department, the SpotLight Musical Theatre Program and in community productions. McCartan started his professional career at age eight, playing at the Great American History Theater. He has since worked extensively in the Twin Cities area including productions at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, the History Theatre, Seussical at The Children's Theatre Company and The Master Butchers Singing Club and Little House on the Prairie at the Guthrie Theatre. McCartan has been selected for the Guthrie/University of Minnesota BFA program beginning fall 2011 and was recently named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts, one of 20 high school students selected nationally to receive the award and one of only two winners in theatre. It is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon an artistically talented graduating senior. The Scholars were honored at a White House Ceremony on June 19, and the artists performed at the Kennedy Center on June 20.

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