National Recognition for U of I Theatre Arts
Students and faculty from the University of Idaho’s Theatre Arts Department have been honored with national awards from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) and the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT).
MFA candidate Keely Wright-Ogren received the prestigious Robert E. Cohen Sound Achievement Award from USITT for her work in sound design and technology. BFA candidate Tyler Iiams and MFA candidate Dan Poppen received KCACTF’s Outstanding Achievement Award for their musical composition in “Medea: Her Story,” and Assistant Professor Jesse Dreikosen received KCACTF’s Award for Outstanding Scenic Design for his work on the show.
The KCACTF National Awards Committee further recognized the University of Idaho for its Distinguished Production of a New or Devised Work for “Medea: Her Story.” Students and faculty acknowledged for their work on the production include:
- Maiya Corral, BFA candidate and Professor Matt Foss: Directors of a New or Devised Work
- Matthew Brumlow, MFA candidate: Performance by an Actor
- Professor Jesse Dreikosen: Costume Design
- Professor Kelly Quinnett: Special Achievement in Performance
- “Medea: Her Story” Cast: Distinguished Ensemble
“Theatre Arts at the University of Idaho has long been recognized as one of the strongest programs in the Northwest,” said Ann Hoste, chair of UI Theatre Arts. “These significant national honors also speak to the quality of our program at the national level. We are deeply honored.”
“Medea: Her Story” was a highly collaborative new play/adaptation of the Medea myth. Faculty, directors, designers and actors worked hand-in-hand with students to create the show, told from Medea’s perspective.
The adaptation developed through a process that included the design team alongside the acting/directing team. The play featured original music and samples of pop music authored, arranged and performed by students.
The show received eight performances at the Hartung Theater and was invited to the Region 7 KCACTF event in Denver, Colorado, where it was staged three times on Feb. 21 at The Curious Theater.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever had such a magical and spiritual experience,” said Professor Kelly Quinnett, head of performance in the Department of Theatre Arts. Quinnett played the title role in the production. “To come in with an idea and create something like this – it’s an incredible thing for the ensemble.”
This is the second consecutive year that a UI production/artist has been recognized as a national KCACTF award recipient. Last year, Kadin McGreevy directed “Vigils” and earned the Outstanding Director of a Play Award and he shared the Distinguished Ensemble honor for “Vigils” with then-UI students Michael Brandt, Lo Miles, Micheal Smith and Kevin O’Connell.
Dreikosen, head of design and technology, will represent the production at the National Awards Ceremony on April 22 at noon in the Kennedy Center Theater Lab.