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K-State Today

January 27, 2015



K-State Theatre students make finals at Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

By Professor Jerry Jay Cranford

During the first week of classes, many K-State theatre students attended the Region V Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The festival is comprised of students and faculty from five states with more than 300 nominees competing for the Irene Ryan Award and the chance to perform at the Kennedy Center for the National Festival. Ben Stark, associate professor in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, served as vice chair of design, technology and management for Region V, and Jerry Jay Cranford, assistant professor in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, served as coach and chaperone for the students competing.

The highlights of the week were the New Plays Project, which featured numerous one act and 10-minute plays in development and the Irene Ryan Award competition.

Representing K-State in the New Plays Project were Darrington Clark, junior in mass communications, and Tori Ptacek, junior in theatre, onstage; Logan Jones, senior in theatre, assistant directing; Emily White, senior in theatre, serving on the stage management team; and Cranford, directing.

For the Irene Ryan Award, more than 300 nominated actors prepared two scenes with a partner and a monologue to perform for adjudication. Representing Kansas State were Elise Poehling, senior in music, for "Sweeney Todd" with her scene partner Mat Ellis; Chloe Pyle, senior in theatre, for "Sweeney Todd" with her partner Darrington Clark; Mark Young, junior in theatre, for "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" and his scene partner Ellyn Calvert, moving on to the 64 semifinalists; Cat Huck for "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" with her scene partner Sam Johnson, who were selected to compete with the final 16 top regional actors Friday night on the stage of the Guthrie Theatre.

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