Laura Osnes Named Spokesperson for 2013-14 SpotLight Musical Theatre Program

Hennepin Theatre Trust announced today that Minnesota native and two time Tony Award nominee Laura Osnes will serve as the spokesperson for the 2013-14 SpotLight Musical Theatre Program, the Trust's flagship education initiative sponsored by TCF Bank. SpotLight celebrates students who excel in their high school musical theatre programs and provides educational support to the schools involved. Osnes, a former SpotLight student, is currently starring on Broadway in Rodgers+Hammerstein's Cinderella.

"Participating in the Trust's SpotLight Musical Theatre Program inspired and equipped me for a successful career as an actress," said Osnes of her experience while she was a student at Eagan High School performing in high school musicals. "I am truly honored to serve as the spokesperson and to help encourage the next generation of theatre enthusiasts to learn from friends and professionals and to work hard to achieve their dreams."

"We're both honored and thrilled that Laura Osnes is our SpotLight spokesperson. Laura has built on what she learned as a young performer to pursue and achieve her goals," said Tom Hoch, Hennepin Theatre Trust President/CEO. "She is an excellent role model for our SpotLight students and schools."

As spokesperson, Osnes will raise awareness for the program, return to her home state to visit with current SpotLight participants and meet with SpotLight Triple Threat honorees when they go to New York City as part of a scholarship trip.

Osnes gained national exposure in 2007 when she competed on NBC's talent search television program "Grease: You're the One That I Want" and won the role of "Sandy" in the Broadway revival of Grease. She is currently performing on Broadway as the title role in Rodgers+Hammerstein's Cinderella, earning a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress In A Musical, as well as Tony, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Award nominations for her performance. Other Broadway credits include Bonnie and Clyde (Tony nomination), Anything Goes and South Pacific.

Now in its ninth year, SpotLight provides world-class educational, performing and creative experiences for students to develop essential skills for success such as collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving and self-expression. The Trust established the SpotLight Musical Theatre Program because no such program of its kind existed in Minnesota to honor excellence in high school musical theatre.

The year-end SpotLight Showcase recognizes the extraordinary accomplishments of SpotLight student by hosting performances and award presentations; this year the event is on June 8 and 9 at 7 p.m. at the Orpheum Theatre. Tickets for both nights of the SpotLight Showcase go on sale Friday, Feb. 14 at 10 a.m. and may be purchased in person (no service fees) at the State Theatre Box Office (805 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, 55403), online at HennepinTheatreTrust.org, by calling 1.800.982.2787 or visiting a Ticketmaster Center.



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