IUP students and faculty attending the Region 2, Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) over winter break celebrated high achievements of two of their peers. Theater majors Josh Gallagher and Morgan Chase were both awarded fellowships to attend the national festival at the Kennedy Center in April 2013.
The regional festival at Towson University attracted over 1,400 students and faculty from an eight-state region.
Gallagher was selected by adjudicators of Region 2’s top national award in set design for his starkly whimsical space for In Quietness, written by Anna Moench. He presented his design at the KCACTF Region 2 Design Exposition, which exhibited over 100 designs from dozens of schools across Region 2, ranging from New York to Northern Virginia and west to Ohio. Moench’s new play was directed by Rick Kemp this past fall as IUP’s contribution to the National Theatre Conference’s challenge initiative supporting American women playwrights by providing for development of new works. “The opportunity for an undergraduate student designer to work with an emerging playwright of Moench’s stature is something that IUP is proud to offer,” department chair Brian Jones said. Only one such award is given by the region each year.
Chase was selected by representatives of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographer’s Fellowship for his work on The Caucasian Chalk Circle. He said he chose the work “because it was stylistically hard, and offered the most opportunity for me to learn.” Upon receiving an invitation based on his application last December, Chase prepared a scene from the play with IUP actors beginning last December. He showed it at the beginning of the festival, receiving criticism for improvement over the four days of the festival. Adjudicators based their decision on the quality of Chase’s original presentation, and especially his creativity and effectiveness throughout the process of festival. This is the third time in the past four years that an IUP student has been chosen for the SDC Fellowship in Region 2.
Gallagher, Chase, and 25 other students from IUP were invited to the festival in a variety of artistic programs, including the Irene Ryan acting competition, the KCACTF Fringe Festival, and the Design/Tech/Management exposition. They were supported by the IUP Graduate School fund for undergraduate student research travel fund, the College of Fine Arts, and Theater and Dance’s Theater-by-the-Grove.
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