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Theatre and Dance Claims Awards at Regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

By Mike Greife, February 8, 2018

WARRENSBURG, MO - Students and faculty from the University of Central Missouri Department of Theatre and Dance returned from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival regional conference Jan. 21-27 in Des Moines with a variety of awards and honors.

Ashley Miller-Scully, associate professor of theatre and Musical Theatre program coordinator, received the prestigious ATHE/KCACTF Innovative Teaching Award, and Carter Higgs, a senior Design Technology major, received first place in National Allied Crafts for his work on The Toxic Avenger.

Elise Marshall, musical theatre major, and Katelyn Tormena, theatre graduate student, were recognized for Outstanding Achievement in Directing for their direction of ten-minute plays. Rachel Bland’s play, Paper Tigers, was recognized as a Gary Garrison 10-Minute Play National Semi-finalist, and theatre major Jordan Malone was the regional recipient of the Society of Directors and Choreographer’s Directing Award, which includes a week-long workshop at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in April.  

Musical theatre major Jackie Price was one 18 students selected out of 174 auditioning for the chance to perform in the highly popular MTI Musical Theatre Intensive Showcase. She was a featured soloist in the showcase, performing “Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home” from St. Louis Woman.

Meritorious Achievement Awards were presented to several UCM productions from the spring 2017 and fall 2018 seasons. 9 Circles received awards for direction by John Wilson, professor of theatre and chair; scenic design by design technology major Anna Coday, and choreography by dance minor Torri Hicks.

Recent design technology graduate Sarah Mudry was recognized for her costume design for The Toxic Avenger; design technology major McKenzie Mick received an award for hair and makeup design for her work on Tartuffe; and Caitlin Hahn was recognized for meritorious achievement in stage management for her work on the touring production of Not Waving.

Nine UCM theatre and dance students participated in the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Auditions. Out of 315 candidates auditioning at this year’s festival, Jessica Arnold, Caleb Gazaway, Jordan Malone, and Alexandria Poindexter all advanced to the semi-final round of 66, and Arnold, Gazaway and Poindexter all advanced to the final round of 16.

Thirty students and six faculty from UCM’s Department of Theatre and Dance participated in the week-long festival. All the faculty served in leadership positions for the festival, and every student participated in the week-long opportunities, ranging from the Design Expo, show attendance, workshops, and a variety of activities connected to acting, musical theatre, directing, stage management, playwriting, dramaturgy and journalism.


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