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BHSU students receive awards for playwriting, costume design and acting at Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

Black Hills State University theatre students Jesse Hamer (right), Rapid City, and Tessa Braddy (left), Spearfish, advanced to the semifinal round of the Irene Ryan Scholarship Auditions during the 42nd Region V Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival held in Overland Park, Kan., last week.
Fifteen Black Hills State University theatre students participated in the 42nd Region V Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival held in Overland Park, Kansas last week. Students participating were: front row, left to right, Phil Braun and Sean Hill; second row, left to right, Deb Iverson, Kayla Stanford, Tessa Braddy, Mauli Delaney, Andrea Haugen, Jessica Juhrend, and Ann Thompson; back row, left to right, Rebecca Myers, Jesse Hamer, Jen Beckler, Katie Buffington, Tyler Raad, and Theo Schmidt.

Black Hills State University students received numerous honors including a semifinal performance at the 42nd Region V Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) held in Overland Park, Kan., last week.

Five students were nominated for the Irene Ryan Scholarship for their roles in BHSU theatre productions. Those students auditioned with partners for the scholarship. According to Bert Juhrend, associate professor of theatre at BHSU, all of the students received positive feedback from the judges. Jesse Hamer, education major from Rapid City, and Tessa Braddy, speech communication major from Spearfish, advanced to the semifinal round of auditions. Only the top 20 percent of the 300 nominees are chosen to advance to this round.

BHSU theatre students were awarded three KCACTF Merit Awards at the opening ceremony. Jessica Juhrend, speech communication major from Spearfish, received a playwriting Merit Award for the production Blood. Debra Iverson, speech communication major from Bowman, N.D., received a Merit Award in Costume Design for the same production, and the entire cast of Rabbit Hole received a Merit Award for ensemble acting.

Mauli Delaney, speech communication major from Mitchell, and Iverson both had displays in the Design and Technologies Exhibition; Delaney presented her makeup design for the annual Woodburn Hall Haunted House and Iverson exhibited her costume design for Blood. Their work was critiqued by industry professionals who congratulated them on their designs and gave them tips for continuing on their career paths.

Philip Braun, speech communication major from Gregory, was selected to audition and interview with the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville acting apprentice program. The Actor’s Theatre of Louisville is one of the oldest and most prestigious regional theatres in the United States.

Fifteen BHSU students attended the festival and had the opportunity to participate in workshops, such as building armored costumes and preparing to audition for professional theatre. Students also attended several theatrical performances, including a musical, two full-length plays, three one-act plays and six ten-minute plays.

Dr. Pamela Wegner, professor of fine and applied arts at BHSU and Bert Juhrend presented acting workshops to students and professor from across the Midwest. Wegner‘s workshops focused on Shakespeare and Laban technique. Bert Juhrend focused on the scenario and improvisation.

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