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Senior Callie Syverson Earns Region V Top Actor Honors

Minnesota State Mankato advanced more students to semifinal and final rounds than any school in region.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Department of Theatre & Dance News Release, 1-27-2014

Mankato, Minn. -- Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Department of Theatre & Dance had great success at the Region V Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Lincoln, Neb., Jan. 19-25, including having the top actor in the region for the third time since 2008.

Callie Syverson, a senior BFA musical theatre from Windom, Minn. (pictured at right), won the prestigious Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship competition, besting more than 400 nominees for the honor. A finalist last year, Syverson will advance to the national finals at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., along with her partner Jordan Oxborough (junior BFA musical theatre from Eagan, Minn.). Syverson also captured the Best Musical Theatre Actor in the Semifinal Round award. She has been seen as Elle Woods in “Legally Blonde,” Wendla in “Spring Awakening” and Eponine in “Les Misérables,” among many other roles.

Minnesota State Mankato advanced more students to the semifinal and final rounds of the Irene Ryan acting scholarship competition than any other school in the region (the largest region in the country).

Making the top 16 out of a field of over 400 Ryan nominees, Ryan finalists included Reginald D. Haney (third-year MFA actor from Richfield, Minn.), partnered by James Ehlenz (junior musical theatre BFA from Columbia Heights, Minn.), and Jake McInerney (senior BFA musical theatre from Sioux Falls, S.D.) partnered by Jake Sullivan (sophomore BFA musical theatre from Andover, Minn.). Adam Yankowy (first-year MFA musical theatre from Louisville, Ky.) made it to the semifinal round with partner Bridgette Karl (senior BFA musical theatre from St. Louis Park, Minn.).

As always, Minnesota State Mankato was well represented with a variety of “behind the scenes” awards. Joel Schiebout (third-year MFA technical direction from Sioux Center, Iowa) took the first-place Regional Technical Project award for his work on "Les Misérables" and he captured a special commendation: a one-week residency at the Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas, given to an outstanding technician at the festival. Alisa Bowman (senior BFA theatre design/technology from Wichita, Kan.) took the first place Regional Allied Craft award for her work on "Peter and the Starcatcher." Noah Files (third-year MFA scene design from Minot, N.D.) took the second-place Regional Scene Design award for his work on "Kiss of the Spider Woman." Alexandra Cross (senior BA theatre generalist from Round Lake, Minn.) took the honorable mention Regional Award in Dramaturgy for her work on "Kiss of the Spider Woman." Rusty Ruth (third-year MFA director from Sioux Falls, S.D.) was a finalist in the Society of Stage Directors competition.

Costumes from "Les Misérables," designed by David McCarl (faculty), were invited to the juried Annual Costume Parade. A scene from "Spring Awakening," directed by Paul J. Hustoles (faculty), was presented in the juried Showcase of Scenes.

KCACTF certificates of commendation for productions at Minnesota State Mankato were awarded to: Mary Jane Olson (BFA design/technology graduate from Andover, Minn.) for set design for "And Then There Were None"; Angela Sahli (MFA costume design graduate from Aberdeen, S.D.) for costume design for "And Then There Were None"; the cast for ensemble acting for "Spring Awakening"; Alexis Heruth for choreography for "Spring Awakening"; Sam Juhnke (BFA design/technology graduate from Edina, Minn.) for lighting design for "Legally Blonde"; the shift crew for amazing work on "Legally Blonde"; Steven Smith (faculty) for lighting design for "Les Misérables"; and Anna Alex (second-year MFA sound design from Cincinnati, Ohio) for sound design for "Crumbs from the Table of Joy."

The Region V Festival had 1,525 registrants (a new record), representing 81 colleges and universities, in the 2014 Region V Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival gathering at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb. during festival week, Jan. 19-25.

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