Six U-Idaho Theatre students to travel to national competition

Friday, February 24 2012


MOSCOW, Idaho – Ten University of Idaho Department of Theatre Arts students were recognized at the 2012 Region VII Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival last week.

Six of those students will bring their work to Washington, D.C., in April to compete at the national level.

“We are extremely proud of our students and their accomplishments,” said Dean Pattaja, department chair. “We take pride in the fact our training is nationally competitive and recognized as such. Our ability to put students in arts leadership positions as designers, actors and directors not only provides them practical experience but will provide a solid platform for their future as leaders in the arts.”

Forty-three U-Idaho students and two alumni traveled to Ft. Collins, Colo., to compete in the festival in various theatre events showcasing skills in performance, directing, playwriting and design. The festival is a partnership between the national KCACTF and the Northwest Drama Conference.

Emily McQuarrie, Chris Mueller, Rachel Rosenfeld, Mattie Rydalch, Lauren Simon and Annie Staats were selected to move on to nationals based on their work in scene design, costume design, directing, playwriting and theatre journalism.

McQuarrie, a senior, was selected for the Focal Press/Rafael Jaen Showcase Award for costume design. The award honors first-time design, technologies and management entrants to the festival.

Mueller, a recent graduate of the department’s bachelor in fine arts program, will compete with his work in scenic design on “Good Person of Szechwan” by Bertolt Brecht. The production was presented by U-Idaho Theatre in spring 2011.

Rosenfeld, a master in fine arts student, was selected to move forward with her scene from Spain by Jim Knable. The directing portion of the festival is hosted by the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, a national theatrical union.

U-Idaho alumnae Rydalch’s “Why’s That Flag Here” will compete for the title of National Playwriting Program Ten Minute Play. The National Playwriting Program, initiated in 1974, is part of the Michael Kanin Playwriting Awards Program. The program is named after distinguished playwright and screenwriter, Kanin, who established the program to encourage student playwriting.

“Adoration of Dora,” by master of fine arts student Lauren Simon, will be in the running for the David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award. The award memorializes Cohen, former professor of playwriting at the University of Texas-Austin. “Adoration of Dora” was U-Idaho Theatre’s fall 2011 production chronicling the life of Pablo Picasso’s mistress, Dora Maar.

Senior and National Merit Scholar Staats’ production review was selected for nationals from the Institute of Theatre Journalism and Advocacy. She reviewed the festival production of “US,” a devised play from Western Washington University performed during the festival.

Students from 51 institutions across the Northwest attended the regional competition. About 200 competed for 16 Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships awarded nationwide. Rosenfeld was named a first alternate in the competition. She competed with her partner, junior Max Holley. The two will travel to Washington, D.C., if either of the two regional winners are unavailable.

The Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship honors the late actress most known for her role as “Granny Clampett” in The Beverly Hillbillies. The scholarships have been awarded since 1972 to honor student performers looking to further their education.

Several other acting scholarships were awarded. MFA Tiffany Flory received a full scholarship worth more than $1,000 to The Actor’s Gang in Los Angeles. Junior Patrick Mulligan received a $625 scholarship also with The Actor’s Gang. The Actor’s Gang is a nonprofit theatre arts organization founded in 1981. The organization offers training opportunities to students.

Other regional honorees include junior Will Tedrow for his Northwest Drama Conference (NWDC) Level 1 winner in scenic design for his work on “Adoration of Dora.” Sophomore Jacque Peres was a NWDC Level 1 winner in make-up design for her class work involving trauma make-up.
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About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho’s economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. Learn more: www.uidaho.edu.