The UCM Department of Theatre and Dance held its first “Virtual” Awards Banquet May 2 via a pre-recorded YouTube link.

It was made available on all the department social media platforms at 6 p.m. on the day of the event, and was emailed to patrons and donors who may have missed the link’s posting.

The banquet was sponsored by Theta Alpha Phi and hosted by John Wilson, professor of theatre and chair of the School of Visual and Performing Arts. Embedded within the video were several virtual announcements of awards and scholarships presented by alumni, current students, faculty and scholarship donors. The link has had close to 400 views.

Theta Alpha Phi presented the following awards: Best Actor: Tony Smith for The Merry Wives of Windsor; Best Actress: Noelle Eithun for Hairspray and Emily Layt for The Merry Wives of Windsor; Best Supporting Actor: Jace Nielsen for The Merry Wives of Windsor; and Best Supporting Actress: Daisha B. Jackson for The Merry Wives of Windsor. The Hugh Hocking Memorial Award for Superior Technical Theatre was presented to Kyle Yorg. Theta Alpha Phi also presented the Outstanding Contribution to Studio Theatre-Male Award to Chasen Brown for his performance in The Other Room , and presented the Outstanding Contribution to Studio Theatre-Female Award to Kayla Helms for her direction of The Other Room. The Outstanding Theatre Freshman Awards were presented to Luke Habjan and Té Nickerson. The Hard Acting Award went to Jace Nielsen. UCM Theatre and Dance faculty presented the Outstanding Theatre Student Awards to Charlotte Sipple, Maryn Edwards and Kyle Yorg.

Numerous scholarships were presented throughout the evening. The scholarship awards and their recipients included, The New Theatre Guild McDowell Family Scholarship presented to Seth Holt; The New Theatre Guild Mary Wyram Family Scholarship presented to Ashton Bennett; The New Theatre Dennis D. Hennesy and Richard Carrothers Scholarship to Sabrina Ortiz; The New Theatre Arlene and Gary Krings Scholarship to Charlotte Sipple and the New Theatre Highlander-See Scholarship was presented to Kelsey Richardson.

Other scholarships and their recipients included the James L. Highlander Theatre Scholarship, Mekdelawit Keller; Mancow Muller Theatre Scholarship, Tony Smith; Loneta Pearce Scholarship for the Promotion of Theatre Arts, Makenzie Lewis; Charles G. and Laura Keynon Kuhn Distinguished Theatre Artist Award, Katelyn Harmon, Eleanor Panico and Caitlin Whitehead; Lucy Bergman Memorial Scholarship in Theatre, Joshua Barner, Garrett Hight, Cody Jones, Miranda Muenz, Nikela Reed and Allison Winsby; Virgil E. See Theatre Scholarship, Rachel Curry and Karlee Etter; Nina L. Devenny Distinguished Theatre Artist Award, Luke Habjan and Heather Marsh; Janet Ulrich Scholarship for Technical Theatre, Maryn Edwards; Rye Studio Scholarships, Demetrius Hampton, Emily Layt and Molly Ross; Harold and Sherralyn Craven Scholarship, Danny Gage; BFAME KC Entertainment Scholarship, Madison Brown; Greenroom Guild Scholarship, Thomas Clark; second annual presentation of the William Martin Scully IV Creativity Scholarship and the Richard Herman Black Box Theatre Scholarship,  Jace Neilsen and Seth Sneary, respectively, and the Peer Mentor Scholarship, Kathryn Marshall.

Theatre Ambassador Scholarships were presented to the following students: Christina Foster, Allyson Fields, Elizabeth Henks, Chloe Dohlman, Kayla Rowland, Té Nickerson, Riley Givens, Carlos Gomez, Brittany Brant, Alex Scharfenber, Madison Skiljan, Stephanie Heathcock, Gracie Heath, Andres Mendoza, Shanna Sinow, Alyce Wilson, Corbin Brown, Alex Gumminger, Caleb Brown and Mckenna Lewis.

UCM Theatre and Dance was honored to present a new scholarship at this year’s banquet. Alumnus Carl Hutcherson, along with his wife, Amber, took the lead in donating to and organizing the newly endowed David R. Peerbolte Technical Theatre Scholarship in honor of Professor Emeritus David Peerbolte’s 30-plus-year career as Technical Director and Scenic and Lighting/Sound Designer for UCM Theatre and Dance. To inaugurate this scholarship, two recipients were honored: Sandra Garcia and Chasen Brown.

Although the virtual banquet ended with the expected announcement of the 2020 – 2021 season by the department chair, John Wilson, the faculty are in current discussions about potential changes and modes of delivery for the upcoming year as they engage in contingency planning due to COVID-19. An official announcement of the 2020 – 2021 season and all that it entails will be released by the end of May 2020.

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