Rachel Russell selected as Finalist in Regional Theatre Festival

Monday, February 28, 2011

Strayer-Wood Theatre students participated recently in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF), Region V, held at Iowa State in Ames, January 17-January 22. The Festival is sponsored by the Kennedy Center for the Arts in Washington DC.

Rachel Russell (Theatre:Performance major) and her partner Stephanie Wessels (Theatre: Design & Production major), were selected as Regional Finalists in the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Competition at the festival.  Participants perform scenes and monologues from plays, advancing through a series of elimination rounds juried by theatre professionals. Russell and Wessels were one of the top 16 teams, out of 296 teams composed of graduate and undergraduate students from the 7-state region.  Participants for the Ryan Scholarship Competition are nominated by guest adjudicators who evaluate region productions, and nominees choose acting partners for their scenes.  In addition to Russell, who was nominated for her performance in the Strayer-Wood Theatre production of She Stoops to Conquer (directed by theatre professor Gwendolyn Schwinke) three other UNI actors were nominated and participated in the competition with their partners.  They were: Diana Garles (Theatre:Performance major) nominated for her performance in She Stoops to Conquer, performing with partner Michael Achenbach (Theatre: Performance); Liz Cook (Theatre & English double major) nominated for her performance in Mother Hicks (directed by theatre professor Gretta Berghammer), also partnered with Michael Achenbach; and Shane Gavin (Theatre), nominated for Mother Hicks, with partner Clay Swanson (Theatre: Performance). Christian Mangrich (a high school student at West High in Waterloo) also received an honorable mention for his performance in Mother Hicks.  

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