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UW Theater Student Shines at National Acting Competition

April 16, 2018
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UW Department of Theatre and Dance student Andrew Thornton, of Riverton, won two major awards at the National Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship auditions at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. (UW Photo)

University of Wyoming Department of Theatre and Dance student Andrew Thornton, of Riverton, won two prestigious awards at the National Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship auditions at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., over the weekend.

First, he was awarded a $4,500 scholarship to study at the Stella Adler Art of Acting Television and Film Summer Intensive in Los Angeles this summer.

He also was selected as the prestigious Shakespeare Company Acting Fellow, where he has been cast in “Romeo and Juliet” and “Richard III” in the main season at the Shakespeare Company, under the final year of tutelage with director Michael Kahn. Thornton will be a full company member, receiving salary and housing for the season.

Thornton’s scene partner, Jared Mohr-Leiva, of Thermopolis, received the sole national Kingsley Colton Best Scene Partner Award, winning a $500 scholarship.

The two represented UW as one of only eight pairs of collegiate actors in the U.S. chosen to participate in the National Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship auditions, by virtue of their performance at the Region VII Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) and the Northwest Drama Conference in Spokane, Wash., earlier this spring.

The Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships provide recognition, honor and financial assistance to outstanding student performers wishing to further pursue education.

KCACTF is part of a national theater program involving students from more than 600 academic institutions nationwide. KCACTF festivals and associated programs serve as a catalyst in recognizing, encouraging and improving the quality of university and college theater in the United States by creating opportunities for theater departments and student artists to showcase their work and receive outside assessment by selected respondents.


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