Arcadia University Theater students earned national awards, regional accolades and the first standing ovation at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for Region II on Thursday, Jan. 14, at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Several students also have been invited to participate in the national festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., in April.
Robin Stamey ’10 was the Region II winner of a National Barbizon Award for Theatrical Design for her light design for Arcadia University’s production of Home.
“During the festival, I think people were surprised that a first-time participant could have so many students participate. A number of our students were cast in readings of 10-minute, one-act and full-length plays that were directed by professional and faculty directors," says Mark Wade, Assistant Professor and Theater Director. "Out of a pool of over 200 actors, we placed three actors in the semi-finals for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship competition. Arcadia represented one-tenth of the semi-finalists. Home was well-received at the festival, receiving the first standing ovation of the festival. Wendy Rosenfeld, arts critic of the Philadelphia Inquirer, called it the best show of the festival.
“Rachel Barclay, a recent graduate and now an M.F.A. candidate at Catholic University, was one of the playwrights participating in the 10-minute play festival,” Wade said. “I directed Molly Hagen’s 10-minute play A Brief Theory of the Cosmos, selected as a national semi-finalist, which makes it eligible for inclusion in the national festival at the Kennedy Center.
“I could not be more proud of our students and their achievements,” Wade added.
Home also drew critical acclaim. “Arcadia University's production of Samm-Art Williams' Home rekindles the human faith in a promised land, proving that the long-awaited fields of green are not a destination, but a discovery,” says Rosenfield in her Drama Queen blog after seeing the performance at the festival.