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January 31, 2007

Purdue theater students honored at national competition

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Students in Purdue's Division of Theatre recently received awards at the Region III Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Milwaukee to recognize acting, directing and design."Our theater students, which include actors, directors and various designers, are extremely dedicated and devote many hours to their craft," said Russ Jones, division chair of Purdue Theatre and design and technology chair for Region III of the Kennedy Center festival.

"Participating in this annual event gives students a chance to showcase their talents in a creative atmosphere that fosters further learning and development. Our group did extremely well this year, and all of their hard work over the past year certainly has paid off."

Four Purdue Theatre students were regional winners and will compete at the national festival in Washington, D.C., at the Kennedy Center this April.

The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide. Each January and February, regional festivals showcase the finest of each region's entered productions and offer a variety of activities, including workshops, symposia and regional-level award programs.

Purdue students won acting awards in the following categories:

*  Stacie Hadgikosti, a graduate student from Roseville, Mich., was the overall alternate winner, among 267 actors, for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Award.

*  Joe Quadres, a graduate student from Lafayette, won the Irene Ryan Judges' Award for Comedy.

*  Quadres also won a $500 scholarship and Hadgikosti won a $250 scholarship in the Second City Award category.

For student directing, Shannon Kathleen Riley, a senior in the College of Liberal Arts from West Lafayette, won first place for "Star Song." The student directing award is sponsored by the Kennedy Center along with the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. Riley will represent the region at the national festival.

Joel Ebarb, an assistant professor of theater, received a nomination for the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival faculty summer intensives in costume design. This allows faculty members to study with master teachers in their field.

Purdue student Caitlin Mick's entry was among six chosen for the 10-Minute Play Festival Stage Management award in design and technology. Mick is a senior in the College of Liberal Arts from Indianapolis.

The following Purdue students won design and technology awards:

*  Tiffany Fier, a graduate student from Hudson, Wis., received a first-place Barbizon Award for Theatrical Design Excellence in Scenic Design for "Richard III."

*  Chris Holland, a graduate student from Aliquippa, Pa., received a first-place Barbizon Award for Theatrical Design Excellence in Lighting Design for "Richard III."

*  Jason Knox, a graduate student from Lafayette, received a first-place award for Sound Design Excellence for "Richard III." Jason Ducat was named the alternate for "The Winter?s Tale."

*  Willis Liao, a senior in the College of Liberal Arts from Mill Creek, Wash., received an honorable mention in the National Stage Management Competition for "The Importance of Being Earnest."

*  Purdue received the Special Merit Award for Excellence in Design Collaboration for "Richard III." Fier was honored for scenery, Emily Waecker, a graduate student from Arlington Heights, Ill., was honored for costumes, Holland was honored for lighting and Knox was honored for sound.

For design projects, Purdue students won three of the four awards for which they were entered.

Jason Greene, a sophomore in the College of Liberal Arts from Marion, Ind., was the undergraduate winner in lighting design for "Romeo and Juliet." Holland was the graduate winner in lighting design for "M. Butterfly." Waecker was the graduate winner in costume design for "The Pirates of Penzance."

Fier, Holland and Riley will take part in the national festival at the Kennedy Center in April. Knox is eligible to represent the region at the national festival, but having won the national first prize last year, has passed that opportunity on to Ducat.

Started in 1969, the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, with a network of more than 600 academic institutions throughout the country, provides a showcase for theater departments and student artists and where their work receives outside assessment by festival respondents. Through state, regional and national festivals, participants celebrate the creative process, see one another's work, and share experiences and insights.

Writer: Kim Medaris, (765) 494-6998, kmedaris@purdue.edu

Source: Russell Jones, (765) 494-3081, russjones@purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

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