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"Dracula" picked for regional theatre competition

Dec. 19, 2007

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University's chilling adaptation of Steven Dietz's "Dracula" has been chosen as one of nine student productions to compete at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Region III Festival in Milwaukee Jan. 8-13.

This year KCACTF received more than 1,300 entries from around the country. Judges chose only a handful from each of eight geographical divisions to compete. Once all regional festivals have concluded, three to five of the finest, most diverse productions will be selected to advance to the national festival and perform at the world-famous Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., later this spring.

Region III is considered one of the most active and competitive of the KCACTF divisions. Other Midwest schools chosen to compete with WMU this year include Michigan State University, DePaul University, University of Toledo, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Hope College, Marquette University, North Central College and Wisconsin Lutheran University.

The WMU Department of Theatre consistently shines at both the regional and national levels of the KCACTF. All six of the University's festival entrants have advanced to the regional competition, and two productions have gone on to perform at the Kennedy Center.

Mark Liermann, WMU assistant professor of theatre, directs the "Dracula" cast, which includes undergraduate students Brooks Applegate, Tori Blade, Madison Comerzan, Jenna D'Angelo, Kim Krane, Paul Luoma, Zach Martens, Shannon Elizabeth McPhee, Patrick Newton, Topher Nuccio, Danielle Price, John Scranton and Sean Wilson.

WMU's creative team includes undergraduates Monica L. Carr, scenic designer; Rachel Engstrom, costume designer; Daniel Warneke, sound designer; Mary Katherine Burnett, properties designer; Jillian Kurtz, makeup designer; and Samantha Soska, stage manager. Also on the creative team are WMU faculty and staff members Matthew A. Knewtson, lighting designer; Micha Espinosa, vocal coach; and Garylee McCormick, hair designer.

Also working on the production is WMU alumnus and Emmy nominee Robert D. Maverick, a 1982 graduate who returned to his roots to design special effects makeup.

Media contact: Tonya Hernandez, (269) 387-8400, tonya.hernandez@wmich.edu

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