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CRHS senior Imani Harris named Triple Threat student by Hennepin Theatre Trust

Imani Harris holding a microphone(05/31/2023) Coon Rapids High School - Center for Biomedical Sciences and Engineering (CRHS) senior Imani Harris has been selected as a Triple Threat on Hennepin student by Hennepin Theatre Trust.

Additionally, Ashley Wongbi from Anoka High School (AHS) was selected as Triple Threat on Hennepin student by the Hennepin Theatre Trust. The pair earned a spot following an extensive auditioning process where they submitted singing and dancing performances and an essay about how they have made the school better before being selected for a live audition. Learn more about AHS senior Ashley Wongbi.

Just 24 junior or senior high school students are selected as Triple Threat students each year.

“When I found out I was named a Triple Threat student, I was beyond shocked,” Harris said. “It gave me a whole new sense of affirmation, and despite knowing I did the work to get where I am — I’m still in awe of such an amazing opportunity. I just feel so honored to be working amongst such talented individuals and to be mentored by, to me, the best there is in the Twin Cities Theatre world.”

To be named a Triple Threat, students must demonstrate exceptional skills in singing, acting, dancing and leadership. Starting May 30, Triple Threat students participate in an intensive coaching, rehearsal and performance process in preparation for Spotlight Showcase, an event celebrating the best of Minnesota high school theater. More than 1,600 students will participate in the awards and recognition event at the historic State Theatre on June 12 and June 13.

Harris didn’t start out as a performer, but it was her love of music as a child that has grown and provided her with the on-stage presence she carries today. 

“Growing up I used music as a healthy way to express myself, especially since I am a bit on the more sensitive soul side musically,” Harris said. “It truly helped me harness and hone my truest feelings.”

Along with choir and theatre, Harris is also involved in the school in the Black Student Union and as a Cardinal Student Leader. She believes that CRHS provided her the support she needed to try new things and find her passion for the arts. 

“High school has provided me with such great and beautiful support from so many,” Harris said. “It has allowed me to try new things and stick with the old without the harshness of what it may look like in the more adult world. Truthfully, high school is the best place to start things like performing and creating because there’s almost no room for perfection. You’re bound to make mistakes and the good thing is there are people to help you when you fall.”

Harris said that she has received so much support during her time at CRHS, including from choir director Amy Johnson; theatre director, Karla Haij; and band and orchestra directors Ryan Palmer and Michael Watson.

“I really couldn’t have asked for a better home and community of people,” Harris said. 

She recalls her most memorable performance when she starred as the Witch in Into the Woods. Harris said this was the most important, heartbreaking but ultimately world-changing role she ever played. 

Harris plans to attend The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in New York City.

“I am excited to continue to find new things to learn, to feel, and to try — because with theatre, growth really never ends.”