Emory & Henry College's productions of "The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged)” and "25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" have received six award nominations from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.
For "The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged)," students Anna Marie Davis of Bristol, Va., and Joshua Terry of Rocky Mount, Va., were nominated for the prestigious Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship; Beth Loveland of Rocky Mount was nominated for the Student Stage Manager Award; and Michael Isenberg of Roanoke, Va., was nominated for the Student Dramaturg Award. The play was directed by Dr. Biliana Stoytcheva-Horissian, chair of the E&H Theatre Department
For "25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," Graham Gatsy of Roanoke and Seth Evans of Marion, Va., were nominated for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship. The play was directed by Dr. Kelly Bremner with musical direction by Professor Christianne Roll. Professor Daniel Wheeler served as the scenographer for both productions.
“Receiving these nominations by the festival is an honor for the entire production crew, cast and design team of our main stage productions as well as for the fine quality of the Emory & Henry Theatre Department,” said Stoytcheva-Horissian.
The theatre festival honors excellence of overall production and offers student artists' individual recognition through awards and scholarships in playwriting, acting, criticism, directing and design.
The stage manager and dramaturg nominees are required to prepare portfolios, while the acting nominees are required to select acting partners and prepare two contrasting scenes and a monologue for a three-part competition. More than 350 student actors are expected to audition for the prestigious scholarships at the 10-state Region IV competition of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival this winter.
In 2008, Eric Eteuati from Chesapeake, Va., received the competition’s prestigious Irene Ryan Scholarship. The award is given to one actor chosen from among more than 400 students from throughout the southeastern United States who compete in the event. He also won the chance to compete against 16 other regional winners of the Irene Ryan Scholarship at the national competition in Washington, D.C. In 2009, Jamal Crowelle placed among the top 16 actors in the 10-state southeast region.
“The first-rate graduate school and job placement rates as well as our excellent track record for performing well at state, regional and national theatre completions speak volumes for the quality of education our students receive at Emory & Henry College and our theatre department,” says Stoytcheva-Horissian, who is preparing the students for the acting competition.
Started in 1969 by Roger L. Stevens, the Kennedy Center's founding chairman, the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival is a national theatre program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide which has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college theatre in the United States. The Festival has grown into a network of more than 600 academic institutions throughout the country, where theatre departments and student artists showcase their work and receive outside assessment by festival respondents.