Jen Heim’s Top 50 Moments
Captured of 2013


Hi All!  When I was asked to pick my favorite captured moments in 2013 I thought wow, how do I pick 50 moments from the 28 shows I had the pleasure of shooting? That is over 90,000 images to choose from!

I can’t take all the credit for the images.  I can only work with what I am given, and man, do you guys give your all!!!  It takes a team to create each moment on the stage.  Directing teams, lighting and set designers, make-up, hair and costume designers.  Not to mention the actors themselves working together to construct a work of art that I am lucky enough to capture :-)

Emilie’s story

Emilie was recently seen in Oak Park’s production of Tall Tales directed by Ben Olson.  Here is her story about how Spotlight has affected her life!

Spotlight/CYT has been involved in my life for as long as I can remember, although I didn’t realize it until recently.  When I was 5 my mom started homeschooling my sister and me, and signed us up to join a co-op.  In that co-op they always had field trips to NW Cook shows, since quite a few of the kids in the co-op went there.  The first show my family saw was a school day show of The Little Princess.  Even though I don’t remember any of it, it began the journey I’m now on. We saw almost every show in NW Cook after that, and I loved every one. 

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Ryan’s Story

Well, my testimony of how Spotlight changed me is a long one. And to understand how much God truly did for me I have to start all the way back in 8th grade, BEFORE I even had heard of CYT/Spotlight. I was a wrestler back then, and theater kids were on a completely different spectrum than the type of people I associated myself with. But at my middle school we had our last hour as a study hall, and every Friday this boy would bring in his Ukulele. They started playing the song I’m Yours, and my teacher heard me sing. She took me in after class and told me to join choir, and of course, I wanted absolutely nothing to do with it. But she was persistent, and I eventually joined [to appease her]. I found that once I joined, I really enjoyed singing in groups and in front of people. I met a kid in choir who asked me to do the school musical that spring, Guys and Dolls.

Behind the Spotlight Scene:
Building a New Show

Lake County officially opens Shrek the Musical tomorrow, February 7th.  While the actors have only been in rehearsals for 9 weeks, the Spotlight Production Team has been hard at work since last Spring working on pulling together all the details of premiering a show for the first time with our organization!  We thought it would be fun to give you a little Behind the Scenes insight on what goes into putting on a new show…..

Getting the rights….
Getting the rights to a show can be tricky.  There are many factors that go into getting approval.  As many of you know, we weren’t able to get the rights to Shrek until our 2013-2014 season of shows had already been announced.  However, once we got the “okay” in late Summer, we knew that it was the right show for Lake County!

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STARS Awards DVD for Sale

You must log into your online account.  CLICK HERE to get started.

All proceeds from DVD sales will be used to help keep costs low for our families and Spotlight Scholarship recipients.

Welcome to our Newest Area Coordinators

Spotlight is thrilled to welcome Martha Connelly to the position of Production Coordinator/Milwaukee and Christy Dayton to the position of Area Coodinator/Rockford.

Audition Workshops - Fall 2014

Date:  Monday August 18
Time:  5:15-6:45 - for kids in the later time slot
                7:00-8:30 - for kids in the early time slot.
Location:  – The Orchard Church - 101 Barnes Road, Aurora
Date: Monday August 18
Time: 7:00-8:30pm
Location:  Naperville Presbyterian Church - 943 Sanctuary Lane, Naperville
Date:  Monday August 18
Time:  5:15-6:45 - for kids in the later time slot
          7:00-8:30 - for kids in the early time slot.
Location:  – Harvest Bible Chapel – 1000 N. Randall Rd. Elgin
Date:  Tuesday, August 26th
Time: 5:30 – 7:00 pm
Location:  Kenosha Southwest Library Community Room -7979 38th Ave Kenosha WI
Date: Tuesday, September 2
Time:  7:00--8:30
Location:  Gurnee Community Church - 4555 Old Grand Avenue, Gurnee
Date: Tuesday, August 19
Time: 5:15-6:45 - for kids in the later time slot
         7:00-8:30 - for kids in the early time slot.
Location:  Trinity Oaks Christian Academy - 233 East Oriole Trail, Cary
Date:  Thursday, August 28
Time:  6:00-7:30pm
Location:  West Layton Assembly, 11530 W. Layton Ave., Greenfield, WI

NW Cook
Date: Thursday, August 28th
Time:  7:15-8:45pm
Location:  Christian Liberty Academy - 502 W. Euclid Ave., Arlington Heights

Oak Park
Date: Tuesday, August 19
Time: 8:00-9:30pm
Location: Judson Baptist Church - 1252 North Austin Blvd., Oak Park

Orland Park
Date: Tuesday, August 19
Time:  7:00-8:30
Location:  15500 S 73rd Street, Orland Park, IL 60462

Date: Tuesday, August 19th
Time: 6:30-8:00pm
Location:  Westminster Presbyterian – 2821 N. Bell School Rd. Rockford, IL (Northeast entrance)


The Spotlight Youth Theater Board of Directors is pleased to announce the hiring of David Fiorello as our new Production Director (formerly known as Artistic Director)! David comes to us with a vast array of talents and experience.  After receiving a degree in Musical Theater from Shenandoah University, he went into their Masters of Music Program, has worked on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and toured internationally with several productions, including John Doyle’s famed Broadway revival of SWEENEY TODD.  David has worked as a Performer, Director, Musical Director, Artistic Director, Teacher, Composer, Mentor and Writer with theatrical companies across the US, and comes to us from recently teaching and Music Directing at Northwestern University in their Musical Theatre Certificate program.  His Love for the Lord, his students, and musical theater experience make him a perfect match for Spotlight Youth Theater! Please welcome David Fiorello! He can be reached at:.


As the Spotlight program continues to be Blessed in growth, the Board of Directors was inspired to create a new staff leadership position to oversee and establish vision for the various programs. We are excited to announce as Spotlight’s Executive Program Director, Teri Leman!

Teri holds a BM-Vocal Performance Emphasis/Choral Music Education degree and has been a teacher of excellence in vocal training for the past 27 years through her own private studio business. She has also been both a Music Director and Show Director in Spotlight for the past 7 years. Her attention to detail, business savvy, training and most importantly her love for The Lord and children will bring powerful leadership to our organization.

Help us to welcome her to the staff! Send a note to .

Stilwell Scholarship Winners

The Stilwell Scholarship Committee is pleased to announce that the winners
of the 2014 $1000.00 Awards have been selected.

Lindsey Stevens
Lauren Rebodos

This year, a $250.00 Honorary Mention will also be awarded.

Kory Williams

Special thanks to all the excellent students who applied.
Keep making a difference in your communities!


Costumer Assistant

Spotlight Youth Theater is now accepting applications for the part-time position of Costumer Assistant.

This position will work alongside the Costume Manager in all aspects of costuming Spotlight Shows.   Duties would include general maintenance of costumes, organizing, sorting and pulling costumes for each show, communicating and securing costume rentals.

Applicants should possess 3-5 years of work experience with a theater organization or in the costume field; basic sewing skills are preferable, but not needed.   In addition, applicants should be strong communicators (including excellent writing and proof-reading skills), highly organized individuals, and able to take direction and ask questions when necessary.  

The Costumer Assistant should also be creative, self-motivated, ministry-focused, capable of executing multiple projects at a time, and collaborating with both volunteers and employees to support and encourage Spotlight’s core values and mission statement.

Please send cover letter and resume to Sarah Portz, Interim Artistic Director, , for consideration.  Please no phone inquiries.

Lake County Photos Needed

In an effort to complete all show galleries for Lake County,
Spotlight Main Office needs your help.
If you have stage photos from the following shows,
please e-mail with them.

Wizard of Oz Spring 2002
Peter Pan Spring 2007