17 BSU students travel to Kennedy Center theatre festival

BEMIDJI, Minn. (Jan. 13, 2011) — Seventeen Bemidji State University students will be traveling to Ames, Iowa, Jan. 17-21, to participate in the annual Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

Four Bemidji State students will be participating in the festival’s Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship auditions. The scholarships provide recognition, honor, and financial assistance to outstanding student performers wishing to pursue further education. The Irene Ryan Foundation awards 16 regional and two national scholarships annually.

Eric Benson, senior in music from Duluth, Minn., along with his partner Amanda Boring, a sophomore in math and music from Lenexa, Kan., and accompanist Angela Hesse, a senior in music from Bemidji; and Jeremiah Liend, sophomore in pre-engineering from Bemidji, with partner Jesse Villarreal, senior in theatre from Oakdale, Minn., were nominated for the competition for their performances in Bemidji State’s spring 2010 production of “Man of La Mancha.” Benson played the part of Sancho, while Liend starred as Cervantes/Don Quixote.

Ceara Dowell, a sophomore in theatre from Bemidji, along with partner Kate Hanisch, a freshman in English and theatre from Park Rapids, Minn.; and Jessie Ladig, a senior in psychology from Bemidji, who also has Hanisch as her scene partner, were nominated for their performances in Bemidji State’s fall 2010 production of “The Butcher of Baraboo.” Dowell played Valerie and Ladig played Gail.

Ben Eng, junior in business administration from Eagan, Minn., and Amanda Sorensen, senior in creative and professional writing from Esko, Minn., will enter work in a variety of stage management and design competitions. Eng will enter the Barbizon Design Competition with work from “Man of La Mancha” and the Theatre Unlimited fall production, “Dog Sees God.” He is also entering the theatre management competition and will have lighting design work on display at the festival’s design expo.

Sorensen will enter her lighting design for “Butcher of Baraboo” into the Barbizon lighting competition.

Seven other Bemidji State students are attending the festival to participate in the conference and associated workshops, view selected performances from participating schools in the region and participate in original productions developed on site at the festival.

This year’s regional festival, featuring schools from North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota and Iowa, is hosted by Iowa State University.

Started in 1969 by Roger L. Stevens, the Kennedy Center’s founding chairman, the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide that has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college theater in the United States. The KCACTF has grown into a network of more than 600 academic institutions throughout the country, where theater departments and student artists showcase their work and receive outside assessment by KCACTF respondents.

For more information, contact Pat Carriere, director of the Bemidji State University theatre program in the Department of Humanities, at (218) 755-3901.

Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival: http://www.kcactf.org


56601 | Ceara Dowell, sophomore, theatre.
56601 | Angela Hesse, senior, music and music/teacher certification.
56601 | Jessica Ladig, senior, psychology.
56601 | Jeremiah Liend, sophomore, pre-engineering.
56601 | Tennielle Thompson, freshman, criminal justice.

55317 | Claire Pieper, sophomore, psychology and elementary education.

56636 | Jacqueline Teegarden, junior, theatre.

55803 | Eric Benson, senior, music.

55122 | Benjamin Eng, junior, business administration.

55733 | Amanda Sorensen, senior, creative and professional writing.

55331 | Joseph Dritsas, sophomore, political science.

55040 | Jake Budnick, sophomore, English education and theatre.

56467 | Neil Havnes, freshman, theatre and music.

55128 | Jesse Villarreal, senior, theatre.

56470 | Kaitlyn Hanisch, freshman, English and theatre.

60050 | Elizabeth Dicker, freshman, environmental studies.

66216 | Amanda Boring, sophomore, mathematics and music.