Theatre & Dance Excels at Region V KCACTF 51
Seven Minnesota State Mankato students advanced to finals.
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Director of Public Relations
Department of Theater and Dance
(Pictured, left to right, top row): Erin Wegleitner, Alex Rollins, Cam Pederson, Natasha Singh, Seth Honerman, Ben Kramer, Jameson Bernhagen. (Bottom row): Sam Buckley, Martha Juliana Cubillos, Ryan Christopherson.
Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Department of Theatre and Dance participated along with 1,581 registrants, representing 87 colleges and universities, in the Region V Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Jan. 20-26 in Sioux Falls, S.D.
The event was hosted by South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota (and several others). Region V represents Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri, and its regional festival is the largest of the eight in the country.
Seven students advanced to the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Semifinal round from a field of over 400 nominees. These included Cam Pederson (senior BFA musical theatre from East Grand Forks, Minn.) partnered by Seth Honerman (second-year MFA directing candidate from Aberdeen, S.D.); Matthew Sather (senior BFA musical theatre from Spencer, Iowa) partnered by Yu Miao (first-year MFA musical theatre candidate from China); Delanie Wiedrich (senior BFA musical theatre from Hazen, N.D.) partnered by Trevor Belt (second-year MFA directing candidate from North Kansas City, Mo.); and Ty Hudson (first-year MFA acting candidate from South Sioux City, Neb.), also partnered by Trevor Belt.
Three semifinalists advanced to be finalists (the top 16), including Gary Du Charme II (senior BFA musical theatre from Vinton, Iowa) partnered by Delaney Reitveld (senior BFA musical theatre from Bemidji, Minn.); Martha Juliana Cubillos Caceres (third-year MFA acting candidate from Bogota, Columbia) partnered by Ryan Christopherson (junior BFA acting from Rochester, Minn.); and Ashley D’Lyn Gunn (third-year MFA musical theatre candidate from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho) partnered by Sandiana Mervill (first-year MFA acting candidate from Tampa, Fla.).
Martha was the Irene Ryan 3rd runner-up in the entire competition. In addition, two singers advanced to the Musical Theatre Intensive (MTI) Showcase and performed on the festival mainstage: Cam Pederson and Lydia Prior (sophomore BFA musical theatre from Sioux City, Iowa); and two dancers also advanced: Mitchell Evans (senior BFA Musical Theatre from Litchfield, Minn.) and Zoe Hartigan (junior BFA Musical Theatre from Lakeville, Minn.).
Minnesota State Mankato captured several top national “behind the scenes” awards this year.
Two graduate students advanced and became SDC (Society of Directors and Choreographers) Finalists: Seth Honerman, for his presentation of "Vinegar Tom"; and David Loudermilk (first-year MFA directing candidate from Jacksonville, Fla.) for his presentation of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." Loudermilk tied for second with an honorable mention, while Honerman captured first place and will be going to the Kennedy Center this April. Natasha Singh (junior BFA in theatre design/technology from Mankato, Minn.), was the Region V winner in Stage Management for "Ragtime," and will also be going to Washington. Alex Rollins (senior BFA in theatre design/technology from River Falls, Wis.) captured first place in the National Lighting Design category for "Talley’s Folly" and will be the third Minnesota State Mankato student to head to the Kennedy Center in April. Ben Kramer (second-year MFA scene design candidate most recently from Madison, N.J.), captured honorable mention (tied for second place), for his scene design of "1984."
Another category of national award comes from the Stagecraft Institute. The Don Childs Award, first place, went to Jameson Bernhagen (sophomore BFA in theatre design/technology from Prior Lake, Minn.), for his work on "Hedwig and the Angry Inch." Stagecraft Institute Awards were also given to: Alex Rollins for "Talley’s Folly"; and a Special “Collaboration” Award (never given before) for "Hedwig" was awarded jointly to Cam Pederson (for costume/hair/make-up design), Erin Wegleitner (third-year MFA scene designer, from Sioux Falls, S.D.; for scene design); and Jameson Bernhagen (for lighting design). All four of these students received a scholarship for a week-long intensive in Las Vegas.
Regional Awards were presented to: Sam Buckley (BFA Musical Theatre from Thief River Falls, Wis.) who captured first place in Dramaturgy; Jameson Bernhagen, first place for Lighting Design for "Hedwig and the Angry Inch"; Cam Pederson first place for Make Up Design for "Hedwig"; and a brand new award, The DTM (Design/Technology/Management) Legacy Award was given to Regan Tolk (junior BFA in Theatre Design/Technology from Sioux Falls, S.D.) for his work on "1984."
KCACTF Certificates of Merit (awarded by Region V Responders who visit and critique the productions on site) were awarded to Ben Kramer for his scene design of "1984"; to faculty member John Paul for his scene design for "Ragtime"; to Natasha Singh for production stage management of "Ragtime"; to Erin Wegleitner for her scene design for "Bye Bye Birdie"; and to Alyssa Thome (senior BFA in Theatre Design/Technology from Woodbury, Minn.) for production stage management for "Bye Bye Birdie."
During the past year, faculty members John Paul, Heather Hamilton and Paul J. Hustoles have served as Region V respondents. Hustoles continues his service to Region V by being on the Regional Advisory Board and served as the festival registrar for his 19th time this year. Alumnus W. James Wood (MFA directing), a professor at South Dakota State University, now serves as the chair of Region V, KCACTF.