Theatre students win recognition at festival in L.A.

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Theater students and faculty came together at the Region VIII Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival to see each other’s work and share their own. They also participated in several scholarship competitions, showcasing performance as well as technical theater. The winners of these competitions are invited to attend the National Festival at the Kennedy Center this upcoming April.

During the week of Feb 11., students from UVU’s theater department traveled to Los Angeles to attend the Region VIII Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. This region includes theater students from Ariz., central and southern Calif., Hawaii, southern Nev., and Utah.

Five UVU students made it to the semi-finals of the Irene Ryan Scholarship competition for excellence in acting. Those students were Becca Ashton, Olivia Casper, McKell Peterson, Sam Jo Sanduck, and Kiersten Zundel. Seniors Peterson and Sanduck advanced to the final round.

Students of professor Amanda Crabb had an excellent showing in the Musical Theatre Initiative, with eight of her students competing in the final round. Each finalist was invited to workshop their musical theater selection with invited guests at the festival and perform in a cabaret. Honorable mentions went to Kat Hawley and Carter Walker, with Joe Campbell winning the competition.

Students with a focus on technical theater also performed well at the festival. Emma Belnap and Aaron Gubler were nominated for their lighting designs for the shows “Cabaret” and “I Never Saw Another Butterfly,” respectively. Gubler secured an honorable mention, and Belnap won . Miranda Richards was a finalist in the stage management category for her work on “Tartuffe,” and Carolyn Urban made it to the final round of the costume design category for her design of “Cabaret.” These are all students of Matt Taylor, the stage management and lighting design professor at UVU.