MV Indian American Student Association: Setting up Spotlite

Examining how MVHS IASA prepares for this year’s Spotlite show

MV Raas performing at last year’s Spotlite. Photo by Abhilasha Goel

Neysa Singh, Staff Writer

On Nov. 13, MV IASA hosted their first Spotlite interest meeting to inform members of how they can get involved in Spotlite, which is scheduled for April 10-11 of 2020. Spotlite is an annual showcase that highlights Indian culture through performances from many clubs and individual students, such as MV Andaaz, MV Bhangra and MV Raas. The goal of this meeting was to recruit prospective performers and inform them about the audition process. 


According to IASA president and senior Madhav Danturthi, most of the physical preparation that goes into Spotlite — creating sets and preparing lights — happens during second semester; however, the planning process, such as choosing acts and then creating a show schedule, needs to happen during first semester. 


First, the prospective acts send in audition tapes to IASA, which are submitted under strict deadlines to ensure that coordinating show timing runs smoothly. Each performance has  a three act limit for each person, so that officers can build a show schedule that allows all performers enough time to change. During the meeting, Danturthi mentioned that this was an issue last year, so this year’s audition limit timing was strictly regulated. IASA also announced show dates early on so that teams could plan accordingly and avoid unforeseen conflicts. 


“First [semester] we start auditioning acts, especially for [the] fashion show and the actual acts,” Danturthi said. “We have people submit forms, and then we watch their team perform for us in person. And then we choose a roster of 13 to 14 people to perform, including the three dance teams at MVHS.”


Spotlite is one of IASA’s largest events in the school year, according to IASA officer and junior Harshitha Pandian. Pandian was a part of the show and ticket selling process last year, and says that the event takes a great amount of hard work and preparation in the time leading up to it.However, Pandian believes the hours of preparation are worthwhile, as the show is a great  experience for both the performers and the audience. 


“It’s a lot of busy work [on] the day off to make sure that everything runs properly,” Pandian said. “Making sure everyone’s there on time and that everyone’s ready to go on stage. But in the end, it’s a lot of fun, and it’s a senior night, so it can be really emotional. I know there was a lot of crying last year.”


Junior Akash Dubey, a member of Andaaz also performed at Spotlite last year, and agrees with Pandian, saying that Spotlite is one of his favorite events of the school year.


“I feel like everyone just bonded so much [through Spotlite],” Dubey said. “It was really cool to see. Not to mention, the show is a lot of fun, and just overall a really great time. Before the show, we held a lot of practice, since we know a lot of the school comes to show up. But I’m really looking forward to performing this year.”