USD Theatre students receive Kennedy Center ACTF honors

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Students from The University of South Dakota Department of Theatre received awards at the regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in Overland Park, Kan., Jan. 17-23.

Junior Erin Gallion of Salina, Kan., won the Makeup Design Competition with her designs for “Peter Pan”. In winning the competition, Gallion also advanced to the national competition at the Kennedy Center this April in Washington, D.C. While in Washington, she will compete nationally against other emerging makeup artists and have an opportunity to participate in workshops and master classes with expert designers and industry professionals.

USD students honored at the regional festival included Kevin Kelly of Aberdeen, S.D., and his scene partner Aaron Kuchta of Hartington, Neb., who advanced to the semifinal round of the Irene Ryan Acting Competition out of 285 competitors. Additionally, a Certificate of Merit for Ensemble Acting was awarded to the cast of the USD Theatre production of “Doubt”.  Directed by David Mancini of Los Angeles, Calif., the cast featured Avalon Kann of McGregor, Iowa, Nichole Jorgenson of Tea, S.D., Adam Hansen of Wakefield, Neb., and Ebony Shanklin of Sioux Falls, S.D. Also winning a Certificate of Merit was Katie Olwell of Sioux Falls, S.D., for her costume design of “Five Women Wearing the Same Dress”. Additional students from The U participating in festival competitions were Rachel Foulks of Ponca, Neb., Kevin Noteboom of Bloomington, Minn., and Nick Amundson of Vermillion for their work in stage management, scenic design and property design.

The regional festival brings together close to 1,700 students from colleges and universities in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. Students showcase their talent as they compete for scholarships and awards in all areas of theatre, including acting, design, playwriting and dramaturgy.  Additionally, students use the festival to audition for summer employment and attend a variety of workshops.

For more information about University Theatre visit www.usd.edu/theatre or call (605) 677-5418.