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Texas State theatre students advance to Kennedy Center competition

By Kristina Kenney
University News Service
April 16, 2013

Four theatre students from Texas State University have advanced to the John F. Kennedy Center as national finalists via the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival program, making 2013 the third year in a row that the university’s theatre program has produced at least four Kennedy Center finalists.

Undergraduate Erin Kinkade is one of eight scene design finalists, and undergraduate Natalie Nergaard is one of eight costume design finalists. They both advanced from the regional festival based on their design work for the department’s productions of “Lend Me a Tenor” and “Hair.”

Graduate playwriting student Jordan Morille has also advanced, as his one-act play, “Thirty Deep,” competes against four other finalists for the national short play award. Rita Anderson, also a graduate playwriting student, has already been declared the winner of the Ken Ludwig Playwriting Scholarship for best body of work, making this the second straight year that a Texas State student has won that national award.

From April 16-21, the finalists will attend the National Festival at the Kennedy Center, taking master classes with professional artists and see the work of their peers from across the country. In each category, they will be eligible for additional awards and professional opportunities.

Finalists were selected after attending one of the eight regional ACTF festivals that took place in February. Nearly 50 theatre students attended the regional festival, partly supported by a gift from Ed and Bonnie Longcope, earning five regional awards and seven of the 13 playwriting awards. They also took home four of the top five Musical Theatre Awards, with undergraduate Lakeisha Houston winning first place and its accompanying $3,500 scholarship to attend the Performing Arts Project this summer. Texas State students also earned regional finalist status in directing and acting.

Since 2001, the Texas State theatre program has been recognized through the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival program with two Producers Awards, two National Selection Team Fellowships, 26 national finalists and six individual National Award winners.

For more information, please contact John Fleming at