University Communications

USI students will perform, compete at regional American College Theatre Festival

Eleven students nominated for awards

December 18, 2013 | Wendy Bredhold
Wendy Bredhold
Media Relations Specialist University Communications 812-461-5259
Article Photo
USI Theatre will present its production of In the Next Room or the vibrator play at KCACTF Region III.
Photo Credit: USI Photography Services

University of Southern Indiana Theatre has been invited to present its production of In the Next Room or the vibrator play at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) Region III in Saginaw, Michigan, January 7-12.

Thirty-five USI students and four faculty members will travel to the festival to help mount the play, written by Sarah Ruhl and set in the 1880s, when the use of the newly developed electric vibrator was gaining popularity with doctors as a way to treat women’s hysteria. The play blends comic and dramatic elements to explore themes which champion honesty and respect between the sexes. 

KCACTF Region III includes Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, and parts of Ohio, and is one of eight regional competitions held throughout the U.S., culminating in the national festival held in Washington, D.C. at the Kennedy Center.

USI students are nominated for a number of scholarships and awards to be presented throughout the week. Four are nominated for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship and will compete in an audition process modeled after professional acting auditions. They are: Antonio King, a junior from Indianapolis; Danielle Scott, a junior from Danville; Taylor Kearschner, a sophomore from Salem; and Gwendolyn Snow, a junior from Brazil.

King is nominated for USI Theatre’s production of Company while Scott, Kearschner, and Snow are nominated for In the Next Room or the vibrator play. The scholarships are made possible by the generosity of the late Irene Ryan, who portrayed Granny Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies.

Seven USI students are nominated for design, technology and management awards at the festival. Melissa Brown, a junior from Evansville, is nominated for stage management. Mikael Drobny, a senior from Clinton, and Daniel Harris, a sophomore from Lafayette, are nominated for sound design. Erik McCandless, a senior from Boonville, is nominated for lighting design. Ivy Thomas, a junior from Evansville, is nominated in the allied artisan competition. Lyndsay Hill, a senior from Evansville, is nominated in the costume design competition, and Emily West, a senior from Evansville, is nominated for stage management.

Elliot Wasserman, professor of theatre and chair of Performing Arts, said “This is a celebration of the best university theatre in the region, and it happens to be one of the largest and most active regions.”

Along with Wasserman, USI Theatre faculty members Eric Cope (lighting design), Shan Jensen (costume design), and Eric Voecks (technical design) will also attend the festival.

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