Minnetonka Continues Theatre’s Rich History with “Grand Hotel”

Jackson Deutsch, Staff Writer

From musicals and plays to opera and ballet, the performing arts are major contributors to America’s culture.

Throughout the eighteenth century, Britain tried to prevent the spread of theatre in its colonies. However, by the turn of the nineteenth century, revolutions in America and France had increased the demand for theatre. Theatre became a method of expressing patriotism and promoting freedom.

As theatre modernized in Europe, it also did in America. The number of theatres in America skyrocketed, rivaled in quality only by their English inspirations. As American theatre began to distinguish its style, and a new form of theatre emerged: Broadway, is often associated with the popularization of the American musical. By the 20th century, the seeds that would become musical comedy were gaining traction as popular entertainment.

Shows like the groundbreaking “West Side Story” were popularized; “West Side Story” introduced communication through dance, which became a staple technique in musicals like “Chicago”, Minnetonka’s fall feature musical last year.

Above all, this rich history lives on through the school’s impressive Theatre department. Minnetonka’s fall musical “Grand Hotel” is continuing the school’s legacy of amazing musicals under the wonderful direction of Trent Boyum.

“Even back when I was in high school, we didn’t quite have the advancements that we have now,” said Boyum. “The level of professionalism especially has just skyrocketed.”

High schools like Minnetonka didn’t use to be able to achieve such a high standard, but with modern technological advancements, we can truly honor this art form in a way it deserves.

“Theatre has really grown to be accessible at a local level, and the standards of theatre in our high school, in my opinion, can even rival some professional theatres,” said Boyum. The fact that Minnetonka, being a high school, can achieve this level of excellence speaks to theatre’s integral part of American culture throughout its history.

“Though,” Mr. Boyum professes, “we can’t exactly light our theatres with oil lamps, that would be a fire hazard.”

“Through the example of professional theatres throughout history, we are building Minnetonka’s legacy to be one of excellence. People who don’t necessarily have family members who participate in theatre come to our plays anyway, because they know they can expect good, professional theatre,” said Boyum. “That is Minnetonka’s legacy.”

From Broadway to children’s plays, Minnetonka is proud to be a part of America’s rich theatrical history and culture.