Several FIU Theatre students were honored during the recent Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) in Daytona Beach, Florida held February 1-5, 2011. The KCACTF is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide. It is 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 at state, regional, and national festivals.
“This year we had the most students nominated and attend the festival thus far”, says Jesse Dreikosen, Head of Design and Production in the FIU theater department.
Zakiya Markland (BFA – Acting) and her partner Michael Mena (BFA – Acting) made it to the semi-finals of the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship competition. This competition provides recognition, honor, and financial assistance to outstanding student performers wishing to pursue further education. It awards 19 regional awards and two fellowships annually. Zakiya was selected to compete in the festival based on her performance as Mimi in FIU Theatre’s production of “Rent” last fall.
Jeannette Galup (BA) and Michael Mena (BFA – Acting) were both selected to participate as student directors in the New Play Program. They both received praising acknowledgements and wonderful feedback for their work during the festival.
Katherine Paez (BA), Lilly Paez (BA), and Marina Catalan (BFA – Acting) were selected to participate in the National Stage Management Fellowship Program. Each of them presented their work and was interviewed with an invited respondent, participated in workshops, and completed a stage management simulation.
Design students competed in their specific areas as well. Caroline Spitzer (BFA – Design) and John Froehlich (BFA – Design) received honorable mention for their work on costume crafts.
FIU Theatre faculty members also received honors at the festival. Assistant Professor Jesse Dreikosen received an award for Excellence in Scenic Design for “Rent,” and Assistant Professor Tony Galaska received an award for Excellence in Scenic Design & Lighting Design, Associate Professor Marilyn Skow received an award for Excellence in Costume Design, and Associate Professor Phillip Church received an Excellence in Direction award, all for the production of “The Cherry Orchard.”