Topics: College of Fine Arts, Students, Arts and Culture

January 30, 2020

MUNCIE, Indiana — Ball State University students received recognition at the regional Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Madison, Wisconsin. 

This marks the 16th consecutive year that at least one student from Ball State has been selected as a regional winner, which continues the longest streak in the history of the competition. 

“I’m immensely proud of our students, especially because we continue to be recognized in multiple areas,” said Bill Jenkins, chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance

The festival, which took place on Jan. 7-12, included students from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. A total of 21 Ball State students earned awards. Students taking top honors were:

  • Stage management major Kelly DeLisle, who was named Outstanding Stage Manager. She will represent the region at the national Kennedy Center festival in Washington, D.C., from April 6-10.
  • Theatre creation major Madison Bradshaw, who won the Critics Competition. Bradshaw will find out in March if she has been selected to attend the national competition.
  • Design and technology major Nick Maurer won a Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas Award for Excellence in Technology and Design, which includes an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas. 
  • Acting major Immanuel Simon, who earned the Gaiety School of Acting Scholarship, which includes an all-expense-paid trip to Ireland for four weeks of study at the Gaiety School this summer. 

Additionally, three of 16 finalists in the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Auditions were Ball State students. 

Ball State will host the regional festival in January 2021 and January 2022, with more than 1,500 students and faculty members from across the Midwest traveling to the Muncie campus. 

Participating in a theater festival requires students to take risks. Even those who don’t take home awards learn valuable lessons, Jenkins said. 

“I think one of the best things about the Department of Theatre and Dance is that we challenge our students to excel by encouraging them to take risks,” Jenkins said. 

With a 16-year winning streak, it’s difficult to doubt that philosophy.