Paul Sweet ’16 prepares for his scenic design presentation.
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Costumes, sound, set design — none of these backstage efforts by Lycoming College theater majors took the backstage at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Jan. 12-16. Thirteen students took home more than a dozen individual and group awards.
“Our students are able to be successful in a competitive environment because of the attention and care they give to their craft every day,” said Jay Innerarity, chair of Lycoming’s Theatre Department who attended the event along with Biliana Stoytcheva-Horissian, Ph.D., assistant theater professor, and Elizabeth Wislar, the college’s resident costume designer and shop manager. “The work they produced over the past year at Lycoming positioned them well to earn awards at the festival’s competitions.”
A Lycoming team of five students, Paul Sweet ’16, Chris Hoffman ’16, Thomas Van Patten ’19, Nigel Barnes ’17, and Katie Stankovich ’15 earned top honors in the festival’s Tech Olympics, which evaluates student prowess with rigging, quick changes (costumes), stage settings, and other backstage activities that require agility, attention to detail and advanced knowledge in the theatre arts. Lycoming will host the trophy until next year when they will host, coordinate, and oversee the festival’s Tech Olympics event.
Junior Victoria Ashmore received the Allied Design and Technology Award for her work in costume construction for Lycoming’s fall production of Cabaret. Victoria will be representing the college and Region II at the United States Institute for Theatre Technology international conference. At the annual conference to be held in Salt Lake City, Utah in March, she will display her work along with select professional designers and technicians.
Senior Paul Sweet earned a tuition and housing scholarship to the exclusive Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas, where he will spend a week in intensive training using state-of-the-art technology in the performance spaces such as Cirque du Soleil’s Ka. He presented his scenic design for Lycoming College’s Spring 2015 production of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf, directed by Nigel Barnes.
Other awards earned by Lycoming students included:
- Scenic Design Honorable Mention: Paul Sweet “For Colored Girls …”
- Costume Design Honorable Mention: Kati Stankovich “For Colored Girls …”
- Several individual Tech Olympic awards were earned by Thomas Van Patton, Nigel Barnes, Chris Hoffman, Paul Sweet, and Kati Stankovich.
Victoria Ashmore '17 presents her costume work to theater professionals at the theater.
About 1,300 students from colleges and universities from nine states in the mid-Atlantic area attended the Region II event in West Chester, Pa. — the preliminary event where the top productions are selected for representation at the national festival in Washington, DC. At the festival, the Lycoming students converged for workshops, productions, education and the opportunity to represent the College at the national event in April. Students can be selected to represent their work in multiple categories, including costumes, set design, lighting, sound, acting, directing, playwriting and technical production.
Other students who participated include: Hershey Millner ’16, Jonathan Irby ’19, Zane Jones ’19, Michael Sampsell ’17, Briana Rumsey ’18, Asha Bryant ’17, and Nathan Kaczmarik ’16.