Several students received recognition for their work in the Department of Theatre and Media Arts
After a year of BYU theatre productions performed entirely online, it seems only fitting that the exceptional student work in those productions was honored at a virtual event. The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival is an annual celebration of college and university theatre accomplishments. It typically begins each February with eight separate regional events across the country, and concludes in April with a national festival in Washington D.C. Students can be nominated in categories such as acting, design and dramaturgy. After being recognized at the regional festivals, winners move on to compete at the national level. BYU is part of Region 8, which includes Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii and parts of California. And this year, for the first time ever, the regional festivals were held online. The Region 8 KCACT festival took place February 10-13, 2021. It included workshops and virtual performances, and honored student work produced during the pandemic. “The regional festival this year was, of course, different than any previous festival, but our students worked hard to prepare presentations of their artistic work as they would have for any in-person conference in previous years,” said faculty member and student mentor Shelley Graham. Other student mentors included faculty members Stephanie Breinholt, Adam Houghton, Tony Gunn, Kris Peterson and Dennis Wright. “The regional student winners represented BYU well, earning commendations, fellowships and opportunities for national recognition,” Graham said. The following students received awards: Charisse Baxter received an Honorable Mention In Dramaturgy for her adaptation and work on “An Ideal Husband.” Angela Moser and Alayna Calderwood won the Region 8 Program Note Award for their work on “Letters From Cuba” and “Manual for a Desperate Crossing.” Elisabeth Goulding was named a DTM finalist in set design for “Illusionary Tales,” and was given an award from the Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas. Darci Ramirez was recognized as the actress who best served a new play. Caleb Andrus was a finalist in the Director’s Round. Three students were finalists in the Musical Theatre Initiative: Sage Patchin, Cameron Robbins and Jasmyn Swindall. Two students were finalists in the Irene Ryan Auditions: Sage Patchin and Darci Ramirez. “There was such a variety of work to share,” Graham said. “There were set designs for pieces that were actually built for a stage; projection, sound and light designs for Zoom theatre; costume designs for pieces that had to be bought instead of built, or built on machines at home; makeup designs that ultimately would have to be applied by actors themselves watching Zoom tutorials by the makeup artists; brand new paperwork designed by stage managers for running the unique technical aspects of virtual, or partly virtual, theatre; dramaturgical artifacts that included virtual programs, ‘lobbies’ and post show discussions; and acting performances that were a unique blend of theatrical and screen performance skill.” Congratulations to all the winners!