Minnetonka High School Theatre Celebrates 10 Years With Director Kent Knutson

Minnetonka High School Theatre Celebrates 10 Years With Director Kent Knutson

Tickets are now on sale for The Secret Garden, Minnetonka High School's 10th annual fall musical under the Artistic Direction of Kent Knutson. The award-winning theatre department is excited to celebrate this landmark with the whole community by presenting a classic, family friendly production based on the beloved Victorian tale. Running from November 2 to 17 on the Arts Center on 7 Main Stage, it also will show the student's versatile talents as they follow up their more recent performances of Legally Blonde, Dracula, and The Phantom of the Opera.

MHS junior Nikki Kallman will be leading The Cast in her first major role. "I was in complete shock for the first week! I really did not expect to be cast as Lily after being in the chorus for the past shows," explains Kallman. "I practice at home, and I am reading the script constantly. I have never had the one-on-one coaching to hone my skills, and it has been so fun and rewarding to get that extra experience. The music is truly beautiful – it always gives me goosebumps!"

"Knutson is a powerful force of energy and knowledge at every rehearsal. He is a very kind director, and we all respect and love him for that," says Eric Sargent, MHS Senior playing Archibald Craven and previously seen as the titular lead in Dracula and Warner in Legally Blonde. "There is so much to learn and apply to this role. It will certainly be a tear jerker for a lot of the audience as they join us in this story about hope and overcoming loss."

Since Knutson took over the program in 2002, MHS Theatre has become recognized as one of the premier high school acting programs in the country. It is his mission to prepare The Casts and crew to be artists, creative and critical thinkers, successful scholars, active participants, and advocates for the fine arts. The program's top honors include: 8-time "Best Overall Production of a Musical" from the Hennepin Theatre Trust's Spotlight Musical Theatre Program, 8-time "Starred Performance" at the State One Act Play Tournament, and the 2011 Presidential Scholar in the Arts and Best Actor at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (Ryan McCartan).

Tickets for The Secret Garden are now on sale and group rates are available. Also on sale: the 2012-2013 Season Package, which includes a ticket to all six shows: The Secret Garden, Annie, The Government Inspector, Elton John & Tim Rice's Aida, 9 to 5: The Musical, and the 3rd Annual Student Summer Stock.

About The Secret Garden: Mary Lennox, a 10-year old orphan, is sent from colonial India to live with her reclusive uncle in Yorkshire, England. While searching for friendship and understanding, she discovers a locked, magical garden on the estate. Mary soon grows into her new life as she revives the neglected flowers and confronts the spirits of her past. This spellbinding Tony Award winner is based on the 1911 classic and imaginative children's story by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

Lily - Nikki Kallman
Mary Lennox - Scottie Schwefel
Mrs. Medlock - Olivia Hultgren
Dr. Neville Craven - Kurt Wallgren
Martha - Katherine Fried
Archibald Craven - Eric Sargent
Ben Weatherstaff - Evan Gosen
Dickon - Karl Amundson
Colin* - Erik Belz
Mrs. Winthrop - Katie Halloran
Jane - Madeline Hirschuber
Rose Lennox - Anna Ginther
Captain Albert Lennox - Will Hoverman
Alice - Clare Seeman
Lieutenant Wright - Jacob Lahammer
Lieutenant Shaw - Zach Churchill
Major Shelley - Christian Belz
Mrs. Shelley - Elza Thayer
Major Holmes - Ryan Hedblom
Claire Holmes - Kalli Anderson
Fakir - Leo Plante
Ayah - Chloe Swenson
Keya - Nathalia Dique Figuelca
Children - Claire DesLauriers, Stephanie Felt, Kathleen Lunger, Madison McDaniel, Laura Parnell, Ruby Segal, Alaina Turnquist
Berit Brown, Brady Bunkelman, Haley Churchill, Paris Curry,Emily Eslinger, Maddie Garces, Maddie Gerhardt, Josh Horst, Charlie Kane, Ryan Keller, Abbie Leone, Matt Lindholm, Monica Livorsi, Jack Morton, Michael Oasheim, William Olson, Ryan Quinlan, Anna Rupp, Gabe Sell, Laura Shellum, Erika Wichmann, JamesWiersum, Graham Zima

*Understudy: Matt Duffy

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