The Free Press, Mankato, MN

January 30, 2014

MSU is highly decorated at theatre festival

Syverson takes top honors in acting competition


The Mankato Free Press

---- — Minnesota State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance earned a slate of accolades during its recent appearance at the Region V Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Lincoln, Neb.

In addition to several technical awards, MSU laid claim to the top actor in the region for the third time since 2008 as senior musical theatre student Callie Syverson won the prestigious Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship competition. The Windom native bested more than 400 nominees for the honor. A finalist last year, Syverson now advances to the national finals at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., along with her partner, junior Jordan Oxborough. She has been seen as Elle Woods in “Legally Blonde,” Wendla in “Spring Awakening” and Eponine in “Les Misérables,” among many other roles.

Furthermore, MSU advanced more students to the semifinal and final rounds of the Ryan acting competition than any other school in the region, among them: Reginald D. Haney (partnered by James Ehlenz), Jake McInerney (partnered by Jake Sullivan) and Adam Yankowy (partnered by Bridgette Karl).

MSU's technical awards included:

■ Master's candidate Joel Schiebout earned the 1st Place Regional Technical Project award for his work on "Les Misérables." He also was awarded a one-week residency at the Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas, a commendation given to an outstanding technician at the festival.

■ Senior Alisa Bowman took the 1st Place Regional Allied Craft award for her work on "Peter and the Starcatcher."

■ Master's candidate Noah Files took the 2nd Place Regional Scene Design award for his work on "Kiss of the Spider Woman."

■ Senior Alexandra Cross took the Honorable Mention Regional Award in Dramaturgy for her work on "Kiss of the Spider Woman."

■ Master's candidate Rusty Ruth was a finalist in the Society of Stage Directors competition.

■ Costumes from "Les Misérables," designed by faculty member David McCarl were invited to the juried Annual Costume Parade. Also, a scene from "Spring Awakening," directed by department chair Paul Hustoles was presented in the juried Showcase of Scenes.

The Region V Festival had 1,525 registrants, representing 81 colleges and universities.

The Free Press