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Eastern Students Honored at Annual Kennedy Center Festival

Written by Este Yarmosh

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University theatre students and their productions were recognized at the annual Region I Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, held at Fitchburg College in Fitchburg, MA in late January. 

Frank-Thomas Grogan '10 was selected as one of three student directors to participate in the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers (SSDC) Student Director Initiative.  Danielle Frate '08, a Visual Arts major, won the "Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region I Runner-Up for Outstanding Student Poster Design" award for her poster design for Eastern's production of "The Women."  

Seven Eastern students were candidates for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Competition:  Luke Boyd, Joey Dias, Shane Kegler, Kamilah Lindo, Kerri Panciera, Lisa Steeves and Erin Williams.  Seven other students-Casey Bessette, Ben Friedman, Frank-Thomas Grogan, Craig Harlow, Megan Harris, Michael Lessard, and Jenna Podeswa--were eligible for the NETC (New England Theatre Conference) Partner Award for their role as acting partners of those competing for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Competition. 

Boyd, Dias, Grogan, Kegler and Lindo were chosen to perform in "6X10s," six original plays lasting ten minutes each.  "We were the only school to have so many of our students cast in these shows," said Ellen Faith Brodie, performing arts professor and director of theatre at Eastern.  "More than 100 students auditioned for 20 parts and five of those parts went to Eastern students."

Eastern's 2008 production of "Oklahoma!" received a Merit Award for "Outstanding Musical Production" during the festival.  Also, Eastern's performance of "The Women" won a Merit Award for "Outstanding Period Ensemble."


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