(LINCOLN, Neb.) – The University of Central Missouri Department of Theatre and Dance received top honors at the Kennedy Center American College Region V Theatre Festival.
The festival, which took place at the University of Nebraska Jan. 20-26, included 80 universities and more than 1,300 faculty and students from theater departments in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota.
UCM’s production “Blue Window” was performed for more than 1,200 faculty and students on Jan. 24 and received the Regional Golden Hand Truck Award for having the most efficient and safest load-in, setup and load out of scenery, lighting and costumes.
Audre Viele and Haley Hrabe won first place in the national and regional directing and stage management competition and will receive all expense paid trips to the Kennedy Center in April for the national festival where they will compete for national awards.
Erin Townsend won best director of a 10-minute play, Jennifer Van Buskirk won first place in regional costume design and Mark Jacobsen won second place in regional technical projects.
Playwright Donna Latham was named a national finalist for the David Mark Cohen Playwriting Award for “And We Will Share the Sky,” which was the Theatre for Young Audience National Playwriting Competition winner at Central this year.
The preliminary rounds of the Irene Ryan Acting Auditions included 325 students from around the region. This was paired down to 64 students, of which four Central students advanced to the semi-final round. These students were Jonathan Peck, Katie Turnbow, Meg Aleshire and Joe Reece.
David LeVota received the Best Acting Partner Award for the semi-finals round.
Students and faculty also received meritorious achievement awards: Julie Mollenkamp, Outstanding Artistic Collaboration for “How I Learned to Drive;” Michael Benson, Outstanding Artistic Collaboration for “How I Learned to Drive;” the entire company, Outstanding Artistic Collaboration for “How I Learned to Drive;” Ronnie Chamberlain, Costume Design for “How I Learned to Drive;” Jeff Peltz, Lighting Design for “How I Learned to Drive;” Michael Benson, Jeff Peltz and Ronnie Chamberlain, Design Collaboration for “The Tempest;” Jennifer Van Buskirk, Costume Design for “And We Will Share the Sky;” and Alisha Morris, Milliner for “And We Will Share The Sky.”