University Theatre competes at Kennedy Center ACTF regional

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Awards and workshop presentations highlighted the Region V Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival at the University of Kansas for students and faculty members from The University of South Dakota Department of Theatre.

The regional festival brings together close to 1,500 students from colleges and universities in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. Students also showcase their talent as they compete for scholarships and awards in all areas of theatre, including acting, design, playwriting and dramaturgy.  Additionally, students auditioned for summer employment and attended a variety of workshops.

Katie Henrichsen from Sioux Falls, S.D., and her partner Kevin Kelly of Aberdeen, S.D., were finalists in the Irene Ryan Acting Competition, which included more than 300 actors. Kelly, who also partnered with Paul Petersen of Cheyenne, Wyo., won Best Partner Award in the semifinals of the Irene Ryan Acting Competition. Additional USD theatre students in this competition included Miles Brindley from Belle Fourche, S.D., and his acting partner Elliott Graber of Freeman, S.D.; and Tyler Hudson of South Sioux City, Neb., and his acting partner Erin Gallion of Salina, Kan.  Samantha Beck of Rochester, Minn., served as musical accompanist for the USD actors during the competition.

In the area of design and technical production, Jonathan Hart, a graduate student from South Weymouth, Mass., was awarded second place in the Tech Expo for his blood effects in the production "The Lieutenant of Inishmore," while Karl Hermanson, a graduate student from Vermillion, and Tim Case, professor of theatre, displayed their scenic designs for "The Lieutenant of Inishmore" and "A Christmas Carol," respectively.  Professor Linda Wigley Scribner's costumes from "The Rivals" were showcased in the festival’s costume parade, which features some of the best work in costume design in the region.

Rachel Foulks, a graduate student from Ponca, Neb., was selected to serve as an assistant director in the faculty directing showcase while USD theatre faculty Case, Bruce Earnest, Eric Hagen and Scott Mollman presented workshops at the festival.  Professor Priscilla Hagen was a judge for the preliminary round of the Irene Ryan Acting Competition, and Patricia Downey assisted in coordinating Summer Stock auditions.