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K-State Today

January 28, 2016



K-State Theatre students among top in region

By Fatemah AlQadfan

Students from the university's theatre program participated in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for Region 5 Jan. 18-22 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. K-State theatre students took home awards in several regional competitions at the festival: Darrington Clark, senior in theatre, received third place overall in the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Competition; and Blake Cordell, junior in music and theatre, won the regional playwriting competition with his original musical "INN-Dependent."

Additionally, K-State Theatre students participated in a variety of activities at the festival, including professional auditions, faculty and professional-led workshops, and competitions in all areas of theatre.

In Region 5, which includes Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, more than 300 actors from participating colleges were nominated for the Irene Ryan competition based on their performances in college productions. One recipient from each region is chosen to represent his or her region at the Kennedy Center in April to compete with other Ryan nominees and participate in workshops with renowned theatre artists.

Mallory Diekmann, junior in agriculture communications and journalism, Sam Massey, senior in music, and Noah Lindquist, junior in music education; Clay Massingill, junior in theatre, and Ben Deghand, senior in theatre; and Darrington Clark and Gabby Browne, junior in theatre, all advanced to the semifinal rounds. Diekmann, Massey, Lindquist, Clark and Browne also advanced to the final round of 16 competitors where Clark and Browne took third place overall.

Cordell's original musical "INN-Dependent" will go on to compete against the other regional winners. If selected, Cordell will have the opportunity for an all-expense paid trip to the Kennedy Center and assist in a staged reading.

2016 is the third consecutive year that K-State was represented in the regional finals in acting. Previous finalists include Cat Huck in 2015 and Elise Poehling in 2014.

Student participation was generously supported by the College of Arts & Sciences Undergraduate Research Travel Scholarship.