WMU News

Theatre students rack up honors in regional competition

Feb. 1, 2004

KALAMAZOO--Theatre students from Western Michigan University brought home several awards from a recent competition that put them up against students from a five-state region.

The students competed in the American College Theatre Festival, Region III Competition, held Jan. 14-17 at Illinois State University in Normal, Ill. Region III includes Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Wisconsin. Sponsored by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., the ACTF is a national theatre program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide aimed at identifying and promoting quality in college theatre productions in the United States.

Competing against 350 undergraduate and graduate actors, Larry Herron, a junior majoring in theatre performance from Mattawan, Mich., won one of two Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships for outstanding performance. Herron will travel in April to Washington to compete against other Ryan winners from seven regions around the nation. His award comes with $500 for use as tuition at a college of his choosing, plus carte blance access to the graduate school audition process administered by the University/Resident Theatre Association.

Two other students also won honors at the festival. Nylda John-Mark, a junior majoring in theatre performance from Grand Rapids, Mich., received both the TVI Actors Studio Career Enrichment Award and a Judges Award for Classical Acting. The Actors Studio prize gives John-Mark a full tuition scholarship to attend the TVI Summer Professional Actor Training Program in either New York or Los Angeles.

A third student, Laura Cornish, a senior from Lawton, Mich., studying design/technical theatre, received an honorable mention for lighting design for the play "Our Town" presented at the University Theatre last November.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 269 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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