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University of Wyoming Department of Theatre and Dance students and faculty were honored this spring at the Region VII Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) and Northwest Drama Conference (NWDC) at California State University in Sacramento.
KCACTF is part of a national theater program involving students from more than 600 academic institutions nationwide. Region VII KCACTF includes Alaska, Northern California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Northern Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.
At all levels, 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.
At the regional festival, senior Sara Varca, Laramie, was the KCACTF Costume Design winner and also received the KCACTF Allied Design and Technologies Meritorious Achievement Award. Senior Lauren Kottenstette, Longmont, Colo., was the KCACTF Dramaturgy runner-up.
In performance, senior Chloe King, Breckenridge, Colo., won the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society Directing Fellowship. Junior Kat Cordes, Dallas, Texas, was the second alternate in the Region VII KCACTF Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship competition. UW actors have won the regional Irene Ryan competition 12 times since 1990, a national record.
UW Theatre and Dance Department Head Leigh Selting was awarded a second Kennedy Center Medallion for his years of service to Region VII, culminating in his service the last three years as region chair. Considered one of the great honors in theater education, the award recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the teaching and producing of theater, and who have significantly dedicated their time, artistry and enthusiasm to the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.
Most importantly, recipients have demonstrated a strong commitment to the values and goals of KCACTF, and to excellence in educational theater. Selting previously received the Kennedy Center Medallion for his work as an acting coach.
Selting is an Equity actor, free-lance director and Equity stage manager. He is the chair for KCACTF Region VII, was invited to host the 2011 National Irene Ryan Winner’s Circle Evening of Scenes at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and now serves as the artistic director of Snowy Range Summer Theatre.
He has received numerous extraordinary merit awards for teaching, research and advising at UW and, in 2006, was awarded the Ellbogen Meritorious Classroom Teaching Award. He received the London Semester Professorship in 2003 and 2012, and the Seibold Professorship in 1996-97.