Wednesday, January 27, 2016

'We're actors. We're the opposite of people.'

It was an eventful week for theatre students at MSU as they headed to Minneapolis to represent one of 86 colleges and universities in the Region V Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. As expected, the students walked away with many prestigious awards.

We had four students and their partners advance to the semi-final round in the Irene Ryan Scholarship competition: Adam Yankowy and his partner, Amanda Mai; Erin Horst and her partner, Michaela Shapiro; Jake Sullivan and his partner, Maureen O'Malley; and Maria Camila Perez and her partner, Andrew Anderson.

Maria Camila Perez (Senior BFA) and Andrew Anderson (Junior BFA)

Erin Horst (2nd Year MFA Musical Theatre) and Michaela Shapiro (Junior BFA)

Adam Yankowy (3rd Year MFA Musical Theatre) and his partner Amanda Mai (Junior BFA) get ready to audition in the semi-final round with their accompanist Michael Stamp (Senior BA).

MSU also had eight students advance to the final showcase round in the Open Jar Institute Musical Theatre Intensive. Those students were Emily Scinto (Junior BFA), Luke Steinborn (Junior BFA), Claire Clauson (Junior BFA), Ian Lah (Senior BFA), Carolyn Strauss (Senior BFA), Maria Camila Perez, Amanda Mai and Jake Sullivan. Jake and Amanda snagged the First Runner Up Award with their song "Sue Me" from Guys and Dolls.

Jake Sullivan (Senior BFA) and Amanda Mai (Junior BFA)

Among the other award winners were Michael Sheeks (3rd year MFA Directing) for his work as a Finalist in the Society of Directors and Choreographers (SDC) competition and Isaac Sawle (2nd Year MFA Technical Direction) taking the 2nd Place Regional Technical Project award for Haunting of Hill House. Adam Yankowy took away Best Musical Theatre Actor in the semi-final round for the 2nd year in a row. Costumes from Life is a Dream, designed by David McCarl (faculty), were invited to the juried Annual Costume Parade.

Matthew Stairs (Senior BFA), Emily Scinto, Jake Sullivan, Iah Lah and Sophie Jones (Senior BFA)

We also took home some Certificates of Commendation for past productions. Kate Kanne (3rd year MFA Scene Design) for Scene Design for The Miracle Worker. Adam Yankowy for Musical Direction for A Christmas Story. Jayme Caye Beerling (Junior BFA Design/Technology) for Stage Management for Titanic. The Cast of Titanic for Ensemble Acting. Paul J. Hustoles (faculty) for Directing for Life is a Dream. Overall, it was a very successful week for MSU theatre students!

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