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University of Central Missouri
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Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
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Department of Theatre and Dance Earns Regional Kennedy Center Honors

Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (Jan. 28, 2015) - The University of Central Missouri Department of Theatre and Dance received several honors at the Kennedy Center American College Region V Theatre Festival in Minneapolis Jan. 19-25.

More than 1,400 faculty and students from 80 universities in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota attended the festival. Six faculty members and 26 UCM students attended the festival, which presents invited performances and scenes from the top shows in the region and hosts acting, directing, design, playwriting, stage management, dramatic criticism and dramaturgy competitions. 

Rosie Swanson won first place in the National/Regional Costume Design competition and will receive an all-expense-paid trip to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in April for the national festival, where she will compete for national awards. Rosie also received an Honorable Mention for her makeup design for The Wedding Singer.

The preliminary rounds of the Irene Ryan Acting Auditions included 340 students from around the region. This was pared down to 64 students, with six UCM students advancing to the semi-final round. These students were Sarah Bronson, Brooke Myers, Kelsey Reinsfelder, Stepahnie Laaker, Kaelyn Whitt, and Katie Turnbow. Bronson and her acting partner Nellie Maple advanced to the final round of 16 competitors.

The Stage Crew Showdown team consisting of Mark Jacobsen, Neal Bearden, Samantha Rudy and Rosie Swanson were first in the preliminary round and received second place in the finals. Taylor Hudson’s Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers direction of a scene from A Streetcar Named Desire advanced to the semi-final round. His cast featured UCM actors Nellie Maple, Brooke Myers, Jessica Baxter, Arthur Clifford and Marisa Perry.

Students and faculty also received Meritorious Achievement awards which included Julie Mollenkamp, professor of theatre; Connor Bush and Taylor Jennings for direction of Kindertransport; Jeff Peltz, professor of theatre, for lighting design of Julius Caesar; Rachael Conroy for sound design of Julius Caesar; Mark Jacobsen for scenic design of Barefoot in the Park; and Sarah Clifton for makeup and hair design for Barefoot in the Park.

Richard Herman, professor of theatre and department chair, serves on the KCACTF National Executive Committee as vice chair of the National Playwriting Program. Mollenkamp serves as the vice chair of Region V National Playwriting Program, and assistant professor Victoria Depew presented a costume workshop. Peltz served as a stage crew showdown mentor, John Wilson, professor of theatre, served as Irene Ryan Coach and a preliminary round judge.  Ashley Miller, associate professor of dance, assisted with the professional auditions for Crane River Theatre.