Ashland University Theatre Makes Successful Trip to Kennedy Center Theatre Festival

1/18/11 ASHLAND, OH -- Accompanied by faculty members Dr. Teresa Durbin-Ames and Scott Chapman, several students from Ashland University's Department of Theatre attended the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) for Region 2 at Townson University in Maryland last week. The 43rd annual regional festival provided opportunities for students and faculty in all aspects of theatre through participation, networking and scholarship.

Senior theatrical design major Steve Bornhoeft of Hudson, Ohio, submitted his lighting design from the University's fall production of "Marisol" and received the Region 2 National Barbizon Award for Theatrical Design Excellence in lighting design. At the regional festival, a winner was selected in each area (scenery, costumes, and lighting) from the design entries based on quality, effectiveness, originality and rendering techniques.

The regional winners are national Barbizon finalists and will exhibit their work in April at the national conference at the Kennedy Center. The purpose of the Barbizon Awards for Theatrical Design Excellence is to provide student designers with feedback from professionals working in the field; to give outstanding student designers national recognition; and to provide the opportunity for student designers to exhibit their work at the Kennedy Center.

Several Ashland University theatre students attended as nominees for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships, which provide recognition, honor, and financial assistance to outstanding student performers wishing to pursue further education.  As a nominee, the students auditioned for the scholarships by performing in a selected scene with a partner.

Nathaniel Sayatovich of McConnelsville and Benjamin Black of Akron were both nominated from their performances in Ashland University's fall production of "Of Mice and Men." Their partners for the Irene Ryan scholarships were Japheal Bondurant of Columbus and Marrista Stubbs of Cleveland, respectively.

From the University's fall production of "Marisol," Brittany Hartman of Strongsville and Johanna Regan of Killingworth, Conn., were nominated and were assisted in auditions by Austin Arnold of Chardon and Jensen Glick of Hilliard, respectively.

Senior theatre major and creative writing minor Natasha Cline of Columbus submitted her original play "Stop Crying Your Heart Out" to the National Playwriting Program, while sophomore theatre major David Wagar of Wadsworth also was a festival participant.

Started in 1969 by Roger L. Stevens, the Kennedy Center's founding chairman, the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) 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 KCACTF 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 KCACTF respondents.  Through state, regional, and national festivals, KCACTF participants celebrate the creative process, see one another's work, and share experiences and insights within the community of theater artists. The KCACTF honors excellence of overall production and offers student artists individual recognition through awards and scholarships in playwriting, acting, criticism, directing, and design.  KCACTF is a year-round program in eight geographic regions in the United States.

For more information about Ashland University Theatre, visit the Web site at www.ashland.edu/theatre<http://www.ashland.edu/theatre>, find us on Facebook or contact Tricia Applegate, coordinator of performing arts publicity and events, at 419-289-5950 or tapplega@ashland.edu<mailto:tapplega@ashland.edu>.

Ashland University (www.ashland.edu<http://www.ashland.edu>) is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.