By Madison Thieman, ’15
St. Bonaventure University students competed for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship from Jan. 12 to 16 at Towson University in Maryland.
Although the students did not advance past the first round, they found the overall competition to be inspiring.
“It’s not about the scholarship,” said Makeda Loney, ’14, a journalism/mass communication major and theater minor from Brooklyn, N.Y. “It’s about the experience going against hundreds of people who want the same thing as you.”
The undergraduates competed in region two of The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival competition, an invitation-only event. Information on the second region can be found at http://kcactf2.org/.
Each nominee then chose an acting partner. The partnered groups included:
- Loneyand Chasity Brooke Perkins, ’14, a theater major from Utica, Ohio
- Victoria Lanzillo, ’15, a dual J/MC and theater major from Victor, N.Y.,and Emily West, ’13, a dual J/MC and theater major from Vestal, N.Y.
- Frederick Alvarez, ’14, a dual J/MC and theater major from Bronx, N.Y., and Mary Best, ’14, a J/MC major from Alden, N.Y.
“The fact that I got nominated meant something to me,” Loney said.
Alvarez agreed that it was a refreshing experience.
“It was great seeing all of us come together and support each other even though we were technically competing for the 32 slots,” he said.
The competition not only offers valuable acting experience but professional critique as well.
“Students … get their work seen and evaluated by their peers, theater faculty and professionals,” said Rebecca Misenheimer, an associate professor in The Department of Visual and Performing Arts at St. Bonaventure University, who accompanied the students to the competition.
And the students have been capitalizing on the opportunity over the years.
“The first time I took a St. Bonaventure student was in 2008,” said Misenheimer. “Now we are consistently taking eight or nine students.”