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Emersonians win at Kennedy Center Theater Festival

Six Performing Arts students recently received top awards at the prestigious Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) for Region 1. Performing Arts Costume Design Advisor Rafael Jaen was also recognized for his contributions to design at the ceremony held January 28 at Fitchburg State University in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.

Juliana Gregori ’12 received the National KCACTF Award for Excellence in Costume Design for Cloud Nine; Kirk Miller ’11 received the National KCACTF Award for Excellence in Lighting Design for Robin Hood; Shanna Allison ’13 was awarded the National KCACTF Fellowship for Excellence in Stage Management for She Loves Me; and Tierra Bonser ’12 received the LMDA/KCACTF National Award for Excellence in Dramaturgy for The Golden Age. These four students will go on to the national festival in Washington, D.C., in April.

Other Performing Arts students recognized at the regional festival were Erik Skovgaard ’12, who was awarded the National KCACTF Award for Excellence in Sound Design and received an Honorable Mention for The Hallway Plays: Paraffin and Nursing, and Alyssa Dillon ’12, who was awarded the Regional KCACTF Award for Allied Design and Technologies and First Place in the USITT Tech/Innovation & Craftsmanship Award for Man of La Mancha.

Emerson alumni and faculty also participated in the festival. Jared Bowen ’98, an Emmy-winning reporter for WGBH-TV’s Greater Boston, delivered the festival’s keynote address. Anne G. Morgan ’09 presented a workshop titled “Planning a Theater’s Season” for prospective producers, artistic directors, and literary managers. Morgan received the LMDA/ATHE/KCACTF National Dramaturgy Award in 2009 for her work on Little Women. Natalie Kearns ’08 presented an information session on behalf of the Society of Props Artisan Managers (S*P*A*M) for aspiring props masters and artisans.

Performing Arts faculty members Debra Acquavella presented a specialized workshop for stage management students called “Calling Cues for Musicals” and Rafael Jaen ran a workshop titled “Digital Design-Tech Portfolios: Branding, Marketing and Social Media.”

In addition to receiving the Kennedy Center ACTF Region 1 Recognition Award for Outstanding Service in Design, Technology and Management, faculty member Rafael Jaen was honored by the publishing company Focal Press, which announced the Focal Press/Rafael Jaen Show Case Award for Excellence in Theater Design Technologies.

Stacey Walker, associate acquisitions editor (theater/live entertainment) for Focal Press, said, “Rafael Jaen has been an author with us for six years, and it has been a wonderful partnership. Rafael is a leader in the DTM field and has a truly remarkable portfolio. In fact, he literally wrote the book on portfolio design and management. Rafael and his new book Show Case embody exactly what Focal Press and KCACTF stand for: excellence, passion, putting your best foot forward, substance, and innovation. That’s why we’ve teamed together with Rafael to create the Focal Press/Rafael Jaen Excellence Award, to be presented to outstanding DTM student practitioners.” The award gives students credit to purchase books to further their education in the design-tech fields.

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