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Department of Theatre and Dance

UW Theatre Students Claim Top Honors at Regional Festival

(Editors: please note local names.)

Feb. 23, 2005 -- University of Wyoming Department of Theatre and Dance students and faculty received top honors at the recent Region VII Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival (KC/ACTF) and Northwest Drama Conference in Ashland, Ore.

Senior Lindsay Cozzens of Laramie was selected as the region's winner of the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship competition, while her scene partner, junior Thomas Stroppel, Wright, was chosen as Best Partner. Both will compete at the national festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in April.

Other UW actors selected as 2005 Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship finalists were senior Brandon Taylor, Rawlins, who won the 2004 Irene Ryan Scholarship; sophomore Katie Herbert, Granby, Colo.; senior Ellen Soderberg, Helena, Mont.; and senior Heather Kaloust, Arvada, Colo.

Brandon Taylor also won a full-tuition scholarship to attend the 2005 TVI Summer Professional Acting Program in Los Angeles. He will train at TVI Actors Studio with industry professionals including producers, directors, talent agents, casting directors and faculty members from prominent theatre schools across the country.

Junior Dana Formby, Cheyenne, received special recognition for her one-act play, "Monday After Work," but was ineligible to enter the show in the national competition because UW Department of Theatre and Dance head Rebecca Hilliker is currently serving on the National Selection Committee. However, Formby was awarded a scholarship to attend a week-long playwriting intensive at the Kennedy Center in April, where her play will be given a special showcase.

Senior Jesse Sundell, Casper, won the region's 10-Minute Play competition and will take her play to the national festival. She also won second place in the KCACTF Critic's Forum.

Senior Rocky Hopson, Cheyenne, won the Director Award from the Society for Stage Directors and Choreographers and will also attend the national festival.

Senda Dimock-Perry, Laramie, won the 2005 Barbizon Meritorious Achievement in Costume Design and also the Costume Design award in the 2005 Design Storm, while senior Paul Ankenman, Berthoud, Colo., picked up the Student Director Award for the 2005 Design Storm.

Leigh Selting, theatre professor, was awarded the prestigious Kennedy Center Medallion of Excellence for all of his years of mentoring student actors and his recognition as one of the nation's top acting coaches.

"The University of Wyoming has once again established itself as having one of the strongest undergraduate theatre programs in the country," says Selting. "Our continued record of achievement, both regionally and nationally, speaks to the hard work and dedication of our faculty and students. I couldn't be prouder of our program and its continuing ability to showcase and advance the careers of young students wishing to enter the professional theatre business."

Posted on Wednesday, February 23, 2005

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