Spotlight Theatre started as a class in a dance studio and had 8 performers. Founded by a professional dancer and actress, Cynthia Ashford continued forward, and word quickly grew about this little theatre troupe where kids could come and be themselves. A place which wasn’t about competition or who’s the best but about opportunity and giving everyone a chance to express themselves in a positive, caring environment. So, in the past 15 years Spotlight has grown through word of mouth, and each year as we say goodbye to our graduates who are pursuing anything from Law, Science, Math, Psychology and of course theater at some of the best schools in the country, we are also excited to see the new faces walk in the door!
Each year Spotlight provides production classes that will help our students to grow - not only as performers but as individuals. Increasing confidence and self-esteem in our students is priority number one. We create a safe environment where students are never afraid to explore, fail, and succeed! At Spotlight it is the effort that is rewarded not just talent. We find by nurturing the effort and hard work that the true talent is able to shine through! Spotlight also prides itself in giving opportunities for students to explore and in many areas of theater including direction, choreography, and stage management.
Many former Spotlight Kids have performed in TV and Film, on Broadway, in National Tours and countless other professional venues. Our Alumni often come back to teach, direct, or even just help out with our shows!
Spotlight has 3 different programs: Spotlight Broadway Show Troupe, Spotlight Kids, Spotlight Summer Camps.
Spotlight Broadway Show Troupe is our group that travels to The Junior Theater Festival. This troupe performs a full show here in Sarasota and then take it to The Junior Theater Festival (JTF) in Atlanta, GA. JTF is one of the best gifts you could give to a theater loving youth! It has all the parts that makes theater great! Fun shows, rehearsals, friends, performances, big stars, big producers, big writers and BIG FUN! Spotlight has had many success at JTF including the top award of "Outstanding Production" and the "Showcase Award." Our students have won "Outstanding Performance by an Individual" and and the "Inspiration Award." Spotlight was invited to workshop a new show and present it to over 6,000 people! The fun never ends! Don't miss your chance to be a part of it!
Spotlight Kids is our troupe that meets weekly throughout the school year. It is divided by age and each group meets once a week for 3 hours. Students work to master beginner to advanced techniques in all areas of musical theatre while cultivating meaningful and lasting relationships and expanding their theatrical resume. Performers will learn acting techniques, movement exercises, and participate in drama games that strengthen performance by bringing characters who live through movement and story. They will work these techniques while preparing acts from Broadway shows and Movie musicals. We will take them to compete at Access Broadway where we have been awarded The Best Musical Theater School for 11 years! Students also have to opportunity to work on solos to compete with which has many benefits from performing on stage alone to developing multiple characters each year. We also perform at a Theme Park and of course a final performance for friends and family. It’s a year full of hard work, fun and family!
Spotlight Summer Camps are our theatrical camps that are a great place for students to explore theater. New to theater or even just continuing building skills for the seasoned performer. High School students often direct and choreograph these shows as an incredible learning ground and assistance from professionals.
Spotlight has become something bigger than I ever dreamed of. I’m so proud of all our accomplishments and look forward to the many in the future.