Genesee Students Vie for Regional Award at American College Theatre Festival in Pennsylvania

Seven Genesee Community College Theatre Arts students were selected to compete on a regional level for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship at the Kennedy Center / American College Theatre Festival (KC/ACTF) being held at Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania, January 7 through 11, 2004.

Genesee students competing for the Irene Ryan Scholarships include: Heather Ackerman, Batavia, NY; Courtney Burrell, Hornell, NY; Clayton Cole, Batavia, NY; Matthew Eick, Batavia, NY; Alisia Hudson, Oneida, NY; Jonathan Klatt, Holley, NY; Joseph Mallison, Batavia, NY; Christine Schul, Marion, NY; Paige Pettyjohn, Carthage, NY, Nick Russo, Albion, NY and Thorin Valentin, Springwater, NY. Approximately 200 other college and university students from New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Washington D.C. are competing, and at the national level more than 1,000 colleges and universities participate in the festival.

Irene Ryan, best known for her portrayal of "Granny" on The Beverly Hillbillies, instituted this award in 1972 to provide scholarships to outstanding student performers. All student actors are eligible for one of sixteen $500 regional scholarships. Students may then advance to the national festival in Washington, D.C., where an additional $2,500 in scholarship money is awarded.

Second year students, Joseph Mallison and Alisia Hudson, were chosen for their portrayal of characters in the ensemble cast of last spring's Blame It On The Movies. Batavia native, Clayton Cole, and returning student Courtney Burrell, were nominated for their roles of Mr. Hale and Mrs. Peters, respectively, in the Susan Glaspell production of Trifles. Jonathan Klatt, also a second year student, was nominated based on the title character from Moliere's Scapino. Genesee Community College student, Matthew Eick, was chosen for his character portrayal of "Old Man" from TennesseeWilliams' The Strangest Kind of Romance. Christine Schul earned a nod for her portrayal of "Jerushia" in The Words That Describe It Best, penned by theatre student, Heather Ackerman. Students Nick Russo, Thorin Valentin, Heather Ackerman, Elizabeth Geuss, and Paige Pettyjohn will participate as scene partners. Marcia Morrison, Director of Fine and Performing Arts at Genesee Community College, has been involved with KC/ACTF since she was a graduate student at Purdue University, and she competed in the Irene Ryan Acting Competition as well as the National Critics Institute Competition. "This year's students are particularly deserving of this opportunity," she said. "And, the sheer volume of students from Genesee who are participating speaks well of the College in general and the theatre department specifically."

Festival participants perform a monologue and a scene as well as attend workshops, symposia and exhibits. The Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival strives to represent all institutions with theatre programs and all types of theatre production, criticism and dramatic literature. Its emphasis is on education by, through, and in the theatre arts.

For further information about the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival, go to or contact the Genesee Center of the Performing Arts at 585-345-6814.