USD Theatre students win national acting awards

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Cody Strand, a junior B.F.A. theatre major specializing in acting, received the Mark Twain Scholarship for Comic Performance as part of the Irene Ryan Acting Competition at the National Finals of the American College Theatre Festival in Washington, D.C.

Strand was one of 16 finalists in the competition that included two participants from eight regional festivals. Strand and his acting partner, Ty Hudson, who is currently pursuing a master’s degree in education at The U., presented two scenes – a comic scene written by Strand and a serious scene. He concluded his six minute audition with a monologue from Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.” 

The Mark Twain Scholarship for Comic Performance is a $2,000 award.  Hudson was also acknowledged for his outstanding performance by being awarded a CSU Summer Arts Scholarship to attend a week-long workshop in Michael Chekov Technique at a studio in Los Angeles, Calif. Strand and Hudson were mentored by Professor Priscilla Hagen, coordinator of the acting specialization at USD.

In addition to auditioning at the National Festival, Strand and Hudson attended workshops with industry professionals, viewed invited university productions from the eight regions, and competed against and networked with some of the best university acting talent in the country. 

Strand, a Brandon, S.D. native, has been featured in several productions at The U., including “The Woman in Black,” “Twelfth Night,” “Evita” and “Peter Pan.” A photo of Cody is available for download at www.usd.edu/press/news/images/releases/Cody_Strand.jpg.

Hudson, from South Sioux City, Neb., has had prominent roles in Student Theatre Cooperative’s “Evil Dead the Musical” and University Theatre’s “Evita” andThe Lieutenant of Inishmore.” A photo of Ty is available for download at www.usd.edu/press/news/images/releases/Ty_Hudson.jpg.