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Hennepin Theatre Trust announces the 2023-2024 Spotlight Education Jimmy Award® nominees headed for New York City

Supported locally by United Properties, students from Waconia High School and Minnetonka High School, recognized for their excellence in singing, dancing and acting will represent Minnesota at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards®

MINNEAPOLIS (June 3, 2024) Hennepin Theatre Trust announced that Jack Anderson (Waconia High School) and Lillian Hochman (Minnetonka High School) will represent Minnesota at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards® (the Jimmy Awards®) – a national celebration of outstanding student achievement, recognizing individual artistry in vocal, dance, and acting performance and elevating the importance of theater arts education in schools.

The announcement was made Friday, May 31 during rehearsals for Spotlight Showcase 2024 presented by PNC, the Trust’s annual event that formally recognizes the extraordinary achievements of the students and educators who make up Minnesota’s vibrant high school theater community. Spotlight Showcase 2024 presented by PNC takes place Monday, June 10 to Tuesday, June 11 at the historic State Theatre (805 Hennepin Ave.).

“I am immensely proud to congratulate our talented students who will be representing Minnesota at the Jimmy Awards this year,” said Todd Duesing, president and CEO of Hennepin Theatre Trust. “Their dedication, passion and outstanding performances exemplify the excellence we strive for through our Spotlight Education program. Their success not only reflects their hard work but also the support and guidance of their esteemed educators and community.”

The Jimmy Awards®/The National High School Musical Theatre Awards® (NHSMTA®) are presented by The Broadway League Foundation, Inc. The NHSMTA invites two nominees from each local regional ceremony to New York City for a rigorous theatre intensive that includes coaching sessions, training, and rehearsals led by some of Broadway’s most accomplished professionals. Nominees will spend ten days in New York City from Friday, June 14, 2024, through Tuesday, June 25, 2024, and their efforts throughout the week will lead to one extraordinary talent showcase performed live in front of an audience on a Broadway stage. The fifteenth annual Jimmy Awards will take place on Monday, June 24, 2024, at the Minskoff Theatre. For more information, please visit www.JimmyAwards.com.

United Properties generously sponsors the Trust’s participation at the Jimmy Awards, showcasing their commitment to nurturing young talent in the performing arts. “United Properties is proud to partner with Hennepin Theatre Trust. Spotlight not only introduces students to professional theatre, but enriches their communication skills, fosters creativity and cultivates community. Seeing the students shine on stage and behind the screens offers a glimpse into their promising futures.”

When asked about performing on a Broadway stage, Anderson replied “It’s bonkers! It’s surreal. I won’t believe it until I’m there.” He performed in his school’s production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and is excited to represent Minnesota. “Being able to make the audience feel a certain way and tell a story with my own spin on it is so rewarding.” He plans to attend Belmont University in Nashville in the fall to study musical theater.

Hochman is an outgoing junior from Minnetonka where she performed as Sally Bowles in Cabaret. This past year she has reflected on leadership, drawing from her early experiences in theater and the wisdom of mentors. Everyone who helped me along the way is now supporting me as I use what they taught me to excel,” said Hochman. She prioritizes exuding positive energy and fostering encouragement while striving to uplift her peers.

The Trust’s Spotlight Education program is an essential part of arts education in many Minnesota schools. Annually, the program helps nearly 8,000 students in more than 100 high schools build confidence, critical thinking, empathy, a sense of community, knowledge and appreciation of theater. The program supplements and enhances arts curricula through production assessments, workshops and arts journalism, increasing equitable access to quality theater education. Additionally, Spotlight Education partners with community organizations and elementary schools to create inclusive and sustainable arts experiences.

Spotlight Showcase 2024 presented by PNC proudly employs professional staff from both the Twin Cities and Broadway to collaborate with students across all areas of theater. Bourgoin Productions serves as producer.

Tickets are on sale now to the general public at the State Theatre Box Office and online at HennepinTheatreTrust.org.



June 10

7:30 p.m.

State Theatre



June 11

7:30 p.m.

State Theatre


For more information about Spotlight Education, please visit HennepinTheatreTrust.org.

Spotlight Education is made possible with support from PNC Bank, Sun Country Airlines, United Properties and the Xcel Energy Foundation.

Hennepin Theatre Trust drives cultural and economic vitality in Minnesota through leadership of the dynamic Hennepin Theatre District in downtown Minneapolis and educational programming that reaches every area of the state. Its historic theatres — Orpheum, State and Pantages — and event center at 900 Hennepin Avenue light up Hennepin Avenue with top-tier entertainment, including the best of Broadway and a wide variety of arts programming. Hennepin Theatre Trust is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Learn more at HennepinTheatreTrust.org.

United Properties has been creating deep roots in the commercial real estate industry for more than 100 years. The company imagines new possibilities in real estate to help enrich communities and create lasting legacies. United Properties provides market expertise for ground-up development, redevelopment and acquisitions of value-add and stable investments. The company invests in and develops office, industrial, retail, mixed-use and senior living properties. United Properties is owned by the Pohlad Companies and is headquartered in Minneapolis, with offices in Denver and Austin, Texas. For more information, visit uproperties.com, and follow on LinkedIn and Instagram.

PNC Bank, National Association, is a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC). PNC is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, organized around its customers and communities for strong relationships and local delivery of retail and business banking including a full range of lending products; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. For information about PNC, visit www.pnc.com.

This activity is made possible by voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Media contact

Dale B. Stark Director of Marketing and Communications dale.stark@HennepinArts.org 612-562-5200



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