From the Minne-apple to the Big Apple: Triple Threat Best Actor and Best Actress take on the Jimmys!

Following in the footsteps of last year’s Triple Threat Best Actress Sarah Cartwright and Triple Threat Best Actor and Jimmy Award-winning Ryan McCartan, SpotLight Musical Theatre Program standouts Emily Nies and Dan Piering began their adventure to New York and the 2012 National High School Musical Theatre Awards on June 20.

Dan Piering and Emily Nies at Sardi’s in New York City prior to attending Nice Work if You Can Get It.

For the next week, Nies and Piering will join the ranks of 60 students from 30 programs across the country being coached by Broadway actors and a professional artistic staff, visiting with industry professionals and even seeing a couple of Broadway shows!  The culminating performance of their week with the Jimmys (named for theatre maven James Nederlander) will take them to the Minskoff Theatre where they will make their Broadway debut and compete for the Jimmy Awards for Best Actor and Best Actress.

Whitney Rhodes, their chaperone for the week, took a moment to chat with them about their first couple of days at the Jimmys and their feelings about SpotLight.

Dan Piering

Grade: Senior (Attending the Guthrie B.F.A. program this fall)

High School: Wayzata High School

Winning Role: Tommy Albright in Brigadoon

Q. What are you most excited about being here at the Jimmys?

A. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the week and especially Monday. All of the students involved are so nice and talented. It’s a great group of kids to be around and I’m so excited to get to work with them for the next few days.

Q. As a graduating senior, what will you miss most about the SpotLight Musical Theatre Program?

A. It’s really the same as my last answer…the process of rehearsing with people, growing with people and making those connections. Throughout Showcase week, SpotLight brings together hundreds of kids who don’t know each other and then we grow together. The strength of the community that is created is the best part and I’ll miss that—but it’s OK because I’ll go to all of the Alumni parties!

Fun Facts:

  • Favorite color: Blue
  • Favorite food: Chipotle
  • Favorite Song to Sing: Happy Birthday because that means it’s someone’s birthday!
  • Dream role: Bobby in Company—it was the first show I saw on Broadway

Emily Nies

Grade: Junior

High School: White Bear Lake Area School

Winning Role: Rosemary Pilkington in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Q. I hear it’s your first time in New York. What are you most excited about?

A. The feeling of walking in Times Square and seeing EVERYTHING at ONCE. And definitely seeing my first Broadway show (Ghost)!

Q. How did you prepare yourself for this week at Nationals?

A. Physically I rested, tried to get sleep, made sure I had all of my stuff together, knew what I was doing and really thought everything out.

Fun facts:

  • Favorite color: Blue (and purple)
  • Favorite food: Chicken
  • Favorite Song to Sing: “ONE song?”
  • Dream role: Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes

Be sure to keep up with Dan and Emily’s adventures by following their daily video blogs on the SpotLight Musical Theatre Program Facebook page!

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