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BSC theater makes program history at regional competition

Published: Feb 14 2017
BSC theater makes program history at regional competition - Photo
Bismarck State College Theatre Arts had a historical showing at the Region V competition of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) earning high honors in a variety of areas.
Twelve BSC Drama Club members attended the festival Jan. 22-28 in Des Moines, Iowa, with program director Danny Devlin and technical theater director Dean Bellin.
“Our participation at KCACTF provides vital academic and practical context for the work we do in our classrooms and on our stage,” Devlin said. “We are so thrilled to have that work celebrated as among the very best in the region.”
Alexis Larson (Carrington), Alicia Billock (Mott), Margaret Brink (Bismarck) and Meghan McNeil (Bismarck), along with shared scene partners Robert Day (Mandan) and Tim Bjugstad (Mandan) were invited to compete in the Irene Ryan National Audition contest, a theater scholarship program for college actors. The invitations came from the actors’ standout performances in the BSC productions of “Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged)” and “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.” The nominees put together three pieces that demonstrate their acting abilities ­­– a monologue and two contrasting scenes. Larson advanced to the semi-final round, a first in over a decade for BSC theatre.
Frank Vondra (Park River) was the first BSC student to be awarded Best Sound Design in the region at the Tech/Design Expo. He also received Certificates of Merit for his sound designs in BSC’s productions of “Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” and “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.”
Carly Willoughby (Bismarck) received a Certificate of Merit for stage management of “Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).” She also exhibited her stage management prompt book in the Tech/Design Expo, participated in Professional Interviews for Summer work, and competed in the National Stage Management Fellowship where she was named Regional Runner-Up, also a first for a BSC student.
BSC’s four-member Ramrod team was one of four teams that made it to the final round in the Stage Crew Showdown competition. Technical Theater team members were Shayna Crimmins (McClusky), Hannah Hertz (Carson), Willoughby and Day. While the team didn’t make top honors, they had a strong showing against larger, four-year universities, Devlin said.
Tanner Hostetter (Huff) auditioned for, and was cast in, a staged reading of a newly written ten-minute play.
Larson, Billock, McNeil and Tinashe Mukoyi (Dickinson) also participated in the Professional Auditions for Summer Stock Employment and received callbacks to professional theatres from around the country. They interviewed and undertook callbacks over the course of a day and will hear in the coming weeks if their efforts turn into professional opportunities.
“All of our students, in their various disciplines, competed against very tough and talented performers and more than held their own,” Devlin said. “What excited me the most was just how broad those successes were.”
The American College Theater Festival is comprised of eight regional festivals that offer theater craft training and present the best plays and talent in each region. The program, run by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., also recognizes excellence with awards and scholarships. Colleges in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas and Iowa comprise Region V. A complete listing of awards can be found here.