DJT Hits the Road!!
July 21, 22

Minneapolis 2014 at the Guthrie Theatre

Minneapolis 2014 at the Guthrie Theatre

My oh my, this trip is going to be another great DJT adventure!  If you thought our previous trips have been fun, this will be like nothing we have done in the past. 

Led by our very own Artistic Director, Daniel Sheridan, this trip is loaded with amazing theatre companies, behind-the-scenes tours, conversations with professional artists, communities where the theatre has become the heart of the town, amazing food, beautiful hiking, and one giant awesome charter bus all to ourselves!!  Daniel has been spending time making sure this trip is going to be amazing!

DJT’s founder, Mary Fluhrer-Nighswander, believed all DJT students should travel to see great American theatre.  For decades, Mary took her students on adventures.  She knew that by kids seeing great theatre and amazing places, they would be inspired by what theatre can do and who they can become.  That too is our goal today.

So what all will we be doing?!?  Here are some details for our adventure!


Theatre Venues

Commonweal Theatre : Lanesboro MN
SHOW = 25th Annual County Spelling Bee

The Commonweal Theatre, Thrust Stage

The Commonweal Theatre, Thrust Stage

The Commonweal Theatre was recognized as the top non-profit theatre in the entire state, awarded with the Minnesota Non-Profit Award for Excellence.  What is really exciting is their one-of-a-kind artist / administrative model.  This means the performers and designers also run all business & education aspects of the theatre!

After the show, we get to meet the professional artists and get a behind-the-scenes tour! 

Since 1989, the professional artists of the Commonweal have brought to life soulful stories told with honesty and creativity. Located in the heart of southeast Minnesota’s bluff country, Lanesboro is home to the company’s theatre in its historic downtown.

The Commonweal Theatre

The Commonweal Theatre

The heart of the Commonweal’s programming is the mainstage season. This balanced yet challenging repertory is traditionally comprised of five plays with more than 180 performances, chosen from among the world’s finest classic, contemporary, and emerging playwrights. The Commonweal also has an active new play development program, and has produced more than two dozen world premieres in its history.

The company boasts a distinctive organizational model with resident ensemble members (who have come from all over the country to make their home in the Lanesboro area) fulfilling the day-to-day artistic and operational needs of the company as artist/administrators.

The 25th Annual County Spelling Bee is a delightful comedy musical that ran for many, many years on Broadway.  It was premiered in 2005 and was the winner of 6 Tony Awards.  This show even has an interactive element, where members of the audience just may be asked to compete! 

Visit their website to learn more at –  

Great River Shakespeare Festival : Winona, MN
SHOW = A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Preshow gathering on lawn for concert.

Preshow gathering on lawn for concert.

Before the show, we will get to have dinner (picnic style) and enjoy preshow music and entertainment on the theatre’s enchanting green space.  Similar to the traditions of Shakespeare’s time, the entire energy surrounding a show is like an outdoor festival!  After the great pre-show, we’ll get to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

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Founded in 2004, the Great River Shakespeare Festival (GRSF) is a nonprofit, professional Equity theater company in Winona, MN, dedicated to dynamic, clearly spoken productions of Shakespeare’s plays which enrich people’s lives, extensive community education, and community outreach programs, and comprehensive theater training.

GRSF C.jpg

DJT’s Artistic Director, Daniel Sheridan, was an actor in a production of Macbeth at the Connecticut Repertory Theatre that was directed by GRSF founder Paul Barnes.  Daniel and Paul have remained friends over the years.  Also, this summer DJT alum Sam Jones (’13) will be performing with the company and will meet up with the group!

After seeing the show, we will come back the next day for a special behind-the-scenes-tour just for our group!  We will also get the chance to participate in a special Shakespearean workshop with members of the company.

Checkout this cool video all about the company.  This will give you a sense of the adventure and amazing theatre created by the Great River Shakespeare Festival.

Checkout their site at

They also have a bunch of really great videos on their YouTube Channel!



Travel by Bus

We will journey in a professionally hired charter bus from CIT Charter Inc.  Be ready to leave bright and early by 7:00am!  To get to our destinations on time and make the most of the trip we have to hit the road!

Our bus will have wi-fi and restrooms on board.  So we should be riding in style.  Checkout these pics of our chariot.



Holiday Inn Express

Our group will be staying at the Holiday Inn Express, right near downtown Winona, MN.  This high quality hotel will give us a safe and secure place to rest, relax, reflect on an amazing day, and lay our heads.

Students will be assigned to rooms with two double beds.  Students will sleep 4 per room.  Students will be grouped by gender.  Boys and girls will not be in the same room. 

Our hotel rooms will be blocked together in a group, with chaperone rooms on each end of the block.  This ensures even greater security for our group.

As added assurance, Junior Theatre Inc purchased special insurance for this trip specifically.  All chaperones will be DJT Staff and Board Members, known well by our students.

Chaperones will take turns being “on duty” overnight so we can be sure everyone is safe and staying where they should for the evening.  We will wander the halls and keep an eye on things.  We never have problems, but we take the kids being safe and making good choices seriously.

Our trip capacity is 37 students and 8 chaperones.

There will be a pool at the hotel, but our schedule will not allow time for swimming.

Learn more about the hotel AT THIS LINK.


Touring the Towns

Lanesboro, MN - Historic


Nestled in the Bluffs of the Root River Valley is the hidden gem of Lanesboro in Southeastern Minnesota. Visitors come year round to leisurely experience the peaceful, inspiring atmosphere found in this charming little town.

While we wait for our first show, it is here we will break into smaller groups and explore. Each group will have at least one chaperone assigned.  Smaller groups allow our students to decide where they want to go and what they want to see, while our chaperones tag along behind to keep them safe.  Each group will checkout shops and the downtown area, while deciding on a place to grab a bite to eat.

The Root River State Bike Trail, rated one of the best trails in Minnesota, goes through downtown and provides you with the opportunity to indulge in tantalizing restaurants or do a little shopping at unique stores. Being situated on the banks of the Root River, there is opportunity for amazing views and walks.  Between the tours, live theatre, art galleries and many other attractions, you just may never want to leave!

Winona, MN - Dynamic

Winona Downtown.jpg

From its sculpted bluffs to its mighty river and all the places in between, this city has unparalleled beauty mixed with a cool urbanity and old-world charm – and it proves that yes, you really can have it all in one enchanting place.  It is inspiring to see how a theatre festival like the Great River Shakespeare Festival can add to the fabric of the community.

While in Winona on day 2, we will break into groups to explore all downtown has to offer and grab a bite to eat.  Then, we will travel a couple miles away to take an amazing hike (optional to hike, you can lounge at trail head) to the top of the bluffs overlooking the mighty Mississippi.  Some say it is the most beautiful spot to see the river in the entire nation!

Winona Hiking.jpg

Winonians love the outdoors – the lakes, river, trails, outdoor concerts. And oh, those festivals! So many things to do indoors too – explore the ten museums and check the calendar for a non-stop stream of remarkable events at venues all over town. Then savor a great meal and celebrate discovering Winona.


Event Schedule

Saturday, July 21

Check In @ DJT :       6:50am

Parent/Student Meet:  7:00am

Arrive Lanesboro:       11:30am

Lunch/Explore:           11:30am-1:00pm

Commonweal Thtr:     1:30pm (25th Annual County Spelling Bee)

Post-Show Tour:         3:30pm

Depart for Winona:     4:30pm

Arrive Hotel:               5:30pm

Dinner at Festival:       6:30pm

GRSF Play:                 7:30pm (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

Return to Hotel:          10:00pm

Lights Out:                  11:00pm

Sunday, July 22

Pack Up from Hotel:   8:30am (breakfast provided at hotel)

Depart for Tour:          9:30am

Tour/WkShop GRSF: 10:00am

Depart for downtown:            12:00pm

Lunch & Explore:       12:15pm – 3:00pm

Depart Downtown:     3:00pm

Arrive Great Riv Bluff: 3:15pm

Depart for Culvers:     4:45pm

Arrive Culvers:            5:15pm

Depart Culvers:           6:15pm

Arrive DJT:                 10:15pm


The Details

Food & Purchases

No food will be provided on the trip, except in the following ways. 

Dinner provided on Saturday evening at GRSF before show.  Breakfast provided at hotel on Sunday morning.  We will provide some snacks on the bus.

Students are encouraged to pack their own snacks and expected to purchase meals.  We will be going to affordable restaurants together as a group. 

No monies will be provided for purchases, keepsakes and gifts.  Students will have to bring their own money for additional purchases.

Recommended minimum spending allowance for food and such is $75.00. 

Trip Cost

The Junior Board of Davenport Junior Theatre consists of students in the 6th grade and up who have successfully completed a Mainstage Show.  These students fundraise all year long at our events and performances.

The Junior Board will be contributing $2,500 to offset the cost of the trip!  This greatly lowers the cost per student! 

Registration cost per participant = $120.00

Registration Guidelines

Deadline to register is Monday, July 9. 

Trip is for Junior High and High School students ONLY.  If going into 6th grade this fall, you may register.

All students who register for this trip must have participated in at least one Junior Theatre class or program.

There are only 37 spots available!  It is first come, first serve on registration.  So don’t wait!  DJT trips are extremely popular.

A few days prior to the trip, DJT will send you a packet with even more info!  This packet will also include participation forms that will need to be completed.

Register here today:

$120.00 per enrollment.

You can register in person at the DJT Main office, Monday – Thursday, between 3:30pm-8:00pm with check or cash.

*Reminder that food and spending money is not included in cost of registration.

Thanks all !  We are looking forward to the adventure!

Be sure to checkout DJT's Teen Intensive Camp!  We have an awesome lineup of amazing instructors this summer. 

Chicago Trip - 2015

Chicago Trip - 2015