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UND Theatre students showcase their talent at national festival at the Guthrie in Minneapolis

Posted on 2/20/2015

The University of North Dakota Theatre Department recently participated in the Region V Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) held in the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis., with eight students chosen to compete in the preliminary round.

"The fact that UND had eight students invited to compete in the preliminary round shows the level of talent we have on our campus," said Ali Angelone, assistant professor of theatre.

KCACTF is a nationally recognized theatre program involving more than 700 colleges and universities throughout the country.

The festival showcases the best work from each of eight national regions and includes workshops, symposia, scholarship and award programs. Although regional colleges and universities are welcome to submit their creative work, there is no guarantee it will be chosen by a panel of professionals for inclusion in the festival.

UND competes in region V, the largest regional festival in the country with over 1,500 students participating.

Selected to compete in the preliminary round of the this year's Irene Ryan Acting Competition were Julia Amundson, a senior from St.Paul; Joseph Bussey, a second-year graduate student from Santa Barbara, Calif.; Jacqueline DeGraff, a senior from Bismarck; Daniel Johnson, a first-year graduate student from Ray, N.D.; Daniella Lima, a senior from Grand Forks; Rachel Perry, a senior from Grand Forks; Nick McConnell, a senior from Grand Forks; and Claire Wehry, a sophomore from Alameda, Calif.

Of the 315 students in this round, 64 were selected to advance to the semi-finals including UND's McConnell, Johnson and their partners, Michelle Stahlecker, a junior from Crookston, Minn.; and Zack Lee, a second-year graduate student from Glenburn, N.D. Johnson went on to be one of the 16 finalists.

Kathryn Vocke, a senior from Park Rapids, Minn., was awarded a certificate of merit for her work as the stage manager for Into the Woods.

DeGraff was also one of only 10 designers chosen to showcase her student-designed costumes for Into the Woods in the festival's costume parade held at the Guthrie Theatre.

Stahlecker, Wetch and Amundson were cast by professional actor/dancers to perform selections from Into the Woods and Sweet Charity as part of the select Musical Theatre Intensive, which was also held at the Guthrie Theatre in downtown Minneapolis.

"At UND, we get to see the process of development each student goes through. ," said Craig Garaas-Johnson, director of advancement for the Dean's Office of Arts and Sciences. "Taking them to a national competition-putting the sum of all that hard work on display for a national audience-is rewarding, and an unforgettable experience for each of them."



Ali Angelone

David L. Dodds
Media Relations Coordinator/Writer/Editor
Public Relations Group
Division of University & Public Affairs
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