By Sarah R. Schwartz ’10
Last year’s production of Home starred (top) Brianna Pope-McBride ’12, Jamal Douglas’10 and Taysha Marie Canales ’11. Photo: Fig Tree Photography
Arcadia University Theater students dazzled audiences and found themselves in the national spotlight as they earned regional and national accolades for their work on the 2009-10 season.
The attention began after students earned regional accolades and the first standing ovation at the Kennedy Center’s American College Theater Festival for Region II in January. Based on their regional performances, Katie Scheidt ’10, Robin Stamey ’10 and Jamal Douglas ’10 were invited to the national competition at the Kennedy Center’s national festival in April in Washington, D.C.
“Being a part of the first group from Arcadia to participate in the national festival was so rewarding,” says Scheidt. As the winner of the Region II Alcone Company Make-up Design Award, she took part in several make-up workshops.
Stamey was named the Region II winner of a Barbizon Award for Theatrical Design and also received an Honorable Mention in the National Barbizon Award category for her outstanding lighting design of Home by Samm-Art Williams.
Douglas earned a Region II Certificate of Merit for Excellence in Ensemble Acting. “It was very humbling and breathtaking. I was just happy to be a part of the festival, but the success was definitely validating,” he says. “I feel empowered to learn more and to continue exercising my craft.”
“A number of our students were cast in readings of 10-minute, one-act and full-length plays that were directed by professional and faculty directors. Arcadia represented one-tenth of the semifinalists at Region II. I could not be more proud of our students and their achievements,” said Assistant Professor and Theater Director Mark Wade, who accompanied the students to Washington.
Students earning Region II accolades include Taysha Marie Canales ’11, Certificate of Merit for Excellence in Ensemble Acting; Brianna Pope-McBride ’12, Certificate of Merit for Excellence in Ensemble Acting; Elizabeth Seybert ’11, semifinalist in the Irene Ryan Competition; and Paige Hoke ’10, Certificate of Merit for Excellence in Writing. Hoke also was considered for two national awards— the KCACTF Theater for Young Audiences Award and the Mark David Cohen National Playwriting Award.
Several students received recognition for their work in make-up design on Hoke’s Princess Rescuers: Claire Berger ’12, Kimberly Rossi ’11, Scheidt, Tovah Skolnick ’10. Three actors from the Princess Rescuers were nominated to be in the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship competition: Tovah Skolnick ’10, Beth Seybert ’11 and Bailey Shaw ’11.