Two actors play the role of Dr. Frankenstein and The Creature
Haley King '20 received the National Award for Excellence in Allied Arts in Makeup Design for her work in the fall 2019 production of “Playing With Fire (After Frankenstein).”  (Photo by Scott Butner)

Whitman College students received recognition for their work in costume, scenic and make-up design, scholarly work and playwriting in February at the Region 7 Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF). Associate Professor and Director of Theater Daniel Schindler also was awarded the Kennedy Center Medallion in recognition of his service and commitment to the KCACTF and its values. 

The medallion is the most prestigious honor given by the regional groups.

“We had an extraordinary week at festival and all of our students had an incredibly positive experience,” Schindler said. “I would like to extend my gratitude to ASWC and the Theater and Dance Department who helped to finance this trip, the professors who allowed them to make up any work from this past week, and to those on the faculty who helped our students prepare for this experience.”

Held Feb. 17-21, 2020, in Fort Collins, Colorado, the festival gives students an opportunity to learn from other students and actors in all aspects of theater, including acting, design and technology, stage management, playwriting, theater journalism and dramaturgy. Eight Whitman students attended the festival. This year there were more than 1,000 participants from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Northern California and Alaska. 

“They were able to participate in workshops by professionals, submit and display their work for feedback, see other students’ work and productions brought to festival from the eight states in our region and apply for summer internship programs,” Schindler said.  

Four students received national honors and may be selected to compete at the national KCACTF in Washington, D.C., in April. At the national festival, students will spend a week taking master classes from professional designers, presenting their design projects, and networking with student and professional designers from across the country. Students will be eligible for various professional learning opportunities, fellowships and awards based on their projects and work during the festival. 

The winners were: 

Jay Tyson ’21, film and media studies and theater, Battle Ground, Washington – National Award for Excellence in Scenic Design for “Ripe Frenzy.” Tyson will be traveling to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in April to show her work.

Haley King ’20, theater, Kennewick, Washington – National Award for Excellence in Allied Arts in Makeup Design for “Playing With Fire (After Frankenstein).” As part of the award, King receives a weeklong residency with the Santa Fe Opera.

Miranda LaFond ’20, history, theater, Lake Forest Park, Washington – Awarded the George R Caldwell Undergraduate Scholarly Paper Award for “’To be or not to be, dat is him question,’— Portrayals of Race in Early American Theatre.” LaFond also received the National Award For Undergraduate Dramaturgy for her work on “Ripe Frenzy.” LaFond is now a finalist for a Kennedy Center-funded trip to the national festival and to attend the National Critics Institute at the O’Neill Theatre Center in July.   

Rachael Goldsmith-Zucker ’22, theater, San Rafael, California — Her play “The God Audition,” was selected as one of two National Semi-Finalists in the 10-minute play contest.  Her play will be sent to the Kennedy Center along with the best two plays from all the other regions. Two of these plays will be selected to travel to Washington, D.C., and have their work read during the national festival. 

Students also received recognition for being among the best in Region VII:

  • Evan Marks ’20 theater, Ketchum, Idaho – Regional Award for Sound Design for Ripe Frenzy; recipient of a one week internship at Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas.
  • Haley King – Meritorious Achievement in Costume Design for “Red.”
  • Jay Tyson – Meritorious Achievement in Unrealized Costume Design for “James and the Giant Peach.”; Meritorious Achievement for a scholarly paper for “I’m Uncomfortable – In-Yer-Face-Reality;” recipient of the Todd Francis Fellowship for design from the 7 Devils Playwrights Conference; recipient of a one-week internship at Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas.