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BC Students Selected for Theater Competition

In light of this year’s stellar performances in “Mother Courage and Her Children” and “A Raisin in the Sun,” the Berea College Theatre Laboratory has selected several talented student actors and stage managers to compete in the regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Irene Ryan Scholarship Competition for their work within these productions.

The Irene Ryan Scholarship was designed to recognize, honor and further advance the education of student performers. The program awards 19 cash prizes at the regional level and 2 fellowships annually to student finalists. Prize amounts range from $250 to $2,500, given to the winners of the national competition in Washington, D.C.

This year’s regional competition will be held in Americus, Ga., February 5-11. Student actors selected to compete are Sarah Griffin, Christopher Kemper, Morgan Younge, CeDarian Crawford and Charity Warren. Student sound and stage managers who will compete are Thomas Usher, Tianna Williams, Heather Romines and Jarrid Looney.

"I feel honored and blessed to be chosen to compete for such a prestigious scholarship," said Warren. "My preparation for this competition will be just as intense, or maybe more, as if I were preparing for a full production.”

When asked what he and his partner plan to perform in their events, Kemper, said, “My partner and I will be preparing five minutes worth of two dialogue scenes as well as ... a minute-long monologue." Kemper will also work on a personal selection of monologues for the contest.

Hours of hard work have earned these students an opportunity to exhibit their skills to an audience of fellow student performers and instructors. Williams, a competitor in sound and stage management, reflected onher experience working behind the scenes of “A Raisin in the Sun," saying, "For the production, I assumed the role of co-sound designer. I researched a lot of the time period music and helped Thomas [Usher] and Mr. Rodney [Clark] in the final selections of music. Also I was an extra for the opening credits in the washing and ironing scenes."

Deborah Martin, a director and assistant professor within the theatre department, commented on the outlook of the competition, saying, “I am extremely pleased and proud of the students who have been selected, and expect the competition to be stiff. In the same vein, I do expect our students to compete very well in the regional competition."

Stay tuned to BCnow for more information on the upcoming competition, or visit the theatre laboratory's Web site.

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