The things we’ve learned….

These three young women shared with us a few of the things they’ve learned during their time with Spotlight Youth Theater.  We’ll definitely miss them on the stage, but they are a part of the Spotlight family forever :-)

Hannah Robinson
Hannah has been a part of Spotlight for 3 years and has performed in 7 shows.  She graduated this fall by playing Frog in Kenosha’s production of Frog and Toad.

We asked Hannah what life lessons she learned while being a part of Spotlight…

Any part is what you make of it! If you choose to make the part amazing then it will be amazing no matter how big or small!

Becca Leland

I am graduating with NW Cook’s Tom Sawyer but my first show was last Fall. I had decided (very last minute) to join Spotlight during my gap year between becca1high school and college. I thought it would just be something fun to do with friends, but little did I know spotlight would give me much more than good memories. A couple weeks ago I attended an open mic night that my younger sister and her band were playing at. When we got there, my sister suggested that my friend and I signup last minute and sing a duet. I would have never in a thousand years agreed to do it if Spotlight hadn’t shown me my love for performing and given me confidence in my voice. I can’t thank Spotlight and the people who touched my life through it enough.

Sarah Babuk

I graduated from spotlight following the winter show in Oak Park in 2013, and since then, I have had quite a bit of insight into how much my life was shaped by ‘The Little County That Could.’  When we first began doing shows, we had no HYPE, no leadership teams; we didn’t even have the sibling system until a few shows in. 1545861_706534919357082_1665262916_nThat meant that, simply because I was older than most there, I was automatically viewed as a leader among the students. And when I first started spotlight, my behavior both around students and on social media was unacceptable. Thankfully, the parents within my county loved me enough to hold me accountable to my actions. They called me out on questionable Facebook posts, confronted me about the vocabulary I used, and lived their lives as an example of how I should live my own.  There were moments when I hated those who called me out on my bad judgment, times where I was stubborn and refused to change. But now I see so clearly how God intended me to live my life as a leader, and I have the training to go forth from here. Thank you, Oak Park.

Posted in Advice and Tips, Testimonial | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Luke Hentzell’s story

12 year old cancer survivor becomes star on the stage

Click the above link to watch a news segment on the incredible survivor story from Luke Hentzell!

Luke is in the cast of Oliver! in Spotlight Milwaukee and has been an inspiration to the entire cast and crew!

Way to go Luke!

Posted in Interviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Extreme Schwartz: A look at the life and works of Stephen Schwartz

A few things to know….

  • He was born in 1948 in New York City
  • He studied music at Julliard while he was in High School
  • He earned his BFA in Drama from Carnegie Mellon University
  • He has composed or written lyrics for over 20 stage musicals and movies
  • He spells his name with a PH not a V

Here are some of the Shows that might be featured in this Summer’s Overnight Camps!!…

This musical is largely based on the Gospel of Matthew and features stories and modern musical numbers that take their lyrics from parables and text from the bible.
Popular songs that you may know: Day By Day and Light of the World

This show follows a performance troupe lead by the Leading Player as they tell the story of a young prince who is searching for meaning and significance in his life.
Popular songs that you may know: Corner of the Sky and Magic to Do


This musical is based on the book of Genesis.  The first act follows the story of Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel.  The second act tells the story of Noah and the Flood.
Popular songs that you may know: The Spark of Creation and In Whatever Time We Have



Wicked tells the story of what happened in Oz before Dorothy dropped in!
Popular songs that you may know: Defying Gravity and Popular….let’s be honest… you probably have the entire soundtrack memorized :-)


This is an animated film that follows the life of Moses as told through the book of Exodus.
Popular songs that you may know: When You Believe and Deliver Us

download (4)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Throwback Thursday (Express Edition): Deja Vu

Do you ever walk on stage into a scene and feel like you’ve been there before?

Well, you might be right!

Take a look at these two back drops that have been used in multiple productions!

You can see the arches this weekend in Kenosha in Wizard of Oz!



This creepy cave back drop has been the background to many an evil lair!

creepy drop


More to come on the next Throwback Thursday entry!!!

Posted in Lists | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Throwback Thursday: Power Couples of the Stage

Love is often the force that drives a musical forward.  Today, on Throwback Thursday, we celebrate 5 of our favorite couples in musical theater as we walk down Spotlight’s memory lane….

  1. The “Oh Captain My Captain” Couple
    Captain Von Trapp and Maria
    The Sound of Music
    couples captain
  2. The “Bird Next Door” Couple
    Horton The Elephant and Gertrude McFuzz
    couples horton
  3. The “Old Married” Couple
    Mr. and Mrs Beaver
    couples beaver
  4. The “Fire and Feathers” Couple
    Lumiere and Babette
    Beauty and the Beast
    couples loum
  5. The “Street Rat and The Princess” Couple
    Princess Jasmine and Aladdin
    couples aladdin
Posted in Lists | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Interview with Suzanne Reeves: Director of Seussical Jr.

ES: Hi Suzanne!  Can you believe that Seussical is about to open?  We’re so excited to see what you’ve done with this show!  I know you’ve been involved with Spotlight for a while.  Can you tell us a little bit about your history with Spotlight/CYT?
SR: When I think about it, I can’t believe I’ve been involved with ya’ll as long as I have! Tom Sawyer in DuPage was the first show I directed in Suzanne Reeves22006. Some dear friends (the Bandemer Family) from my church were looking for a quality theater program for their kids. They stumbled across Spotlight (CYT at the time) and invited me to come see Robin Hood in DuPage’s inaugural season. I was blown away with the quality of the kids and the production itself. And in another fun twist, I just “happened” to have met and prayed with the AC, Jill Duvall, at a completely unrelated women’s retreat several months before. God was at work before any of us ever knew it. Lol – Isn’t He always? 

ES: Seussical is such an iconic show.  Are there any new twists that we’ll see in Dupage’s version of the show?
SR: Seussical is the type of show that can be so flexible depending on your resources. You can do it simply, or you can do it huge. For this production, we were able to pull out all the stops and go large! I told my team and my parents, “Make me tell you, it’s too much!” We’ve been able to incorporate technology in some exciting new ways as well as go over the top with costumes, choreography, vocals, and a fun new identity for the Wickershams (think Cirque du Soleil.) Our parents are so dedicated and go way above and beyond. I give them a concept, they look at me like I’m out of my mind, shake their heads, smile, and say, “Ok, let’s make it happen.” And they do! I firmly believe that any Spotlight show is only as good as its parents. The kids bring the fantastic talent to the stage, and the parents are the machine that set Spotlight shows apart from anything else in the industry.

ES: Somehow in all of this, you have found the time to publish a book!  Can  you tell us a little about the book?
SR: Many years ago, I went through a divorce. As a Christian woman, I struggled to find encouragement that was geared towards women of faith. 63513_10202452604250464_1867816105_nAfter coming through on the other side, I decided to write the book I was looking for. It sounds like a really heavy topic, and parts of it are, but there’s also quite a bit of humor, and lots of encouragement. No one get s through life without experiencing some kind of trial. You cling to the Lord, get a new shade of lipstick, some adorable shoes, and get back into life.

ES: Has being involved in the theater arts influenced you as an author? Or vice versa?
SR: I find theater and writing are very close friends. I have been doing both for a long time and love how they just naturally work together. Strong dialogue is key to writing a book that people want to read as well as writing a show people want to watch. Some authors struggle with dialogue, but my theater background gives me an advantage. If you think about it, that’s all you have in theater. Dialogue (or song words) have to carry the show. You don’t get to write paragraphs describing the setting, or give the background history about a character. It all has to happen through what the characters are (or are not) saying. Everything depends on dialogue!

ES: We have a lot of kids that read our blog.  Do you have any advice for someone that is interested in pursuing a career as an author?
SR: Yay!! I love young writers! I began acting at age 4, and wrote my first play in third grade. Write write write! Write what you love to read. Do you like adventure? Write adventure stories with average kids getting to do extraordinary things. Like animals? Write an article on how many kinds of turtles live in your neighborhood. There are many websites and magazines that feature articles and stories that are written by kids. Keep writing. Just like acting, singing, and dancing – you get better with practice!

ES: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me about the show and your book! 

Click here to order Suzanne’s book online!

Click here to order tickets to Dupage’s production of Seussical Jr!

~Elle Sprague

Posted in Behind the Spotlight Scenes, Interviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Lives During Tech Week…

Doing your homework in the green room while dressed like a forest animal.

Taking a pic in the dressing room mirror with your friends.
Taking a selfie in your full hair and makeup.

Posting those pics on instagram.  #techweek

Getting closer to your cast mates and forming lifelong bonds.

Missing a cue and trying to sneak on stage without anyone noticing.

Realizing your mic is still on after the scene is over.

The rectangle void of makeup on your face after you take your mic off.
Actually finishing a run through during tech week.

Swearing you won’t eat fast food exclusively… then doing it anyway.

Knowing you can actually get a haircut in one week.

What is this “Sleep” you speak of?

Wig caps.

…Oh my goodnes… am I getting sick???

Does this fat suit make me look fat?




Posted in Lists | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment