Theatre Students Compete at Kennedy Center Festival

Twenty students from the Department of Speech Communication and Theatre Arts—including six Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship nominees– traveled to Cape Cod for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) on January 30.

Andrew DeNardo was nominated for the Irene Ryan Award for his portrayal last spring of “Chicklet,” the lead character in the play Psycho Beach Party. He said, “I pushed myself to the limit playing a 15 year-old girl, in a bikini, on a beach, who suffered from multiple personality disorders.”

Each nominee performed one classical monologue and two scenes from contemporary dramas.  Irene Ryan nominee Gin Hong—who played “The Great Kanaka” in Psycho Beach Party was selected to advance to the semi-final round on February 3. Gin Hong is playing Constable Warren, Baseball Player and Professor Willard in the current student production of “Our Town,” which opened on March 1.

Also nominated and presenting for the Irene Ryan Scholarship were students Linda Demirdjian, Lewis Gurgis, Donald Griffith, and Dain Kim.

“I am so proud of our students, who distinguished themselves amongst hundreds of other young, talented people, many of whom are Graduate or Bachelors students,” said Georgia McGill, Professor and Chairperson, Speech, Communication and Theatre Arts. Professor McGill directed the production of Jesus Hopped the A Train which was selected to perform during the 2009 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, Region II.  She is the National Chair of the KCACTF New Plays Program, which provides scholarship monies and internships to student playwrights.

Liisa Yonker, Assistant Professor, Speech, Communication and Theatre Arts, directs many of the College’s plays. She has been named Regional Chair for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Program.

Theatre students who served as partners in scene presentations were Crystal Blake, Doryan Robinson, Jessica Rappaport, Melissa Romeo, Jayme Spyridon-Tow and Nicheal Gadson.

The trip was supported by funding from the QCC Student Government Association, The QCC Association and the Offices of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs.  QCC students, along with students from LaGuardia Community College and Kingsborough Community College, also participated in workshops and master classes with working professionals and educators in theatre.