College chosen to participate in national theater competition
Campus Eye Staff
As most ARCC students scrambled to finish final exams in December, a team of student actors and stagehands reassembled the college’s spring 2013 production of “Las Hermanas Padilla.”
Anoka-Ramsey was the only two-year college chosen to compete in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival this year.
Twenty-four Anoka-Ramsey theater students and three faculty members traveled to Lincoln, Neb., to perform “Las Hermanas Padilla” at the festival’s Region 5 competition the week of Jan. 19-25.
The college took home three awards, two for design and one for stage management.
“I was pleased with the students,” said “Las Hermanas” director Blayn Lemke. “Our school had a wonderful opportunity to rise to the occasion and they did so perfectly.”
Ashley Milewski said, “I loved it because we got a big touring experience and realize what doing multiple shows is like. The response from the audience was amazing. We felt gratitude from other theater majors. I loved performing for the 8 o’clock show because their reaction was beautiful. Our biggest challenge was adapting to our new space, reformatting, and rearranging things.”
“After the set was built, we ran through the scene changes to see what we could adapt to and see what was going to be challenging,” said student Derrick Jackson.
ARCC graduate Autumn Sisson was a finalist in the Irene Ryan Acting competition. She and student Robert Fix-Keltner performed a 7-minute audition. Only 16 students made the final round, out of 360 who began the competition, Lemke said.
AFA student CM Dugan received special recognition for his work on the “Las Hermanas” poster. He received a second award later in the week for his 2013-14 season posters for “Urinetown,” “Tartuffe” and “Las Hermanas Padilla.” It was the second year in a row he received the top regional poster/marketing design award.
Anoka-Ramsey won first place in the Load In/Load Out Competition. In this competition, there are three judges that watch the competitors take their set and equipment off the truck and set up for the performance. They must then remove their equipment and load it back on the truck once they’ve finished performing. To win they must have fewest points deducted for safety issues, efficiency or student involvement.
Lemke said, “Because we have been working so hard on the show, there was a certain pride in it.”