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Irene Ryans Prepare for Success

October 2011

For each main stage show presented by the SAU Theatre Department, two nominees are chosen to participate in the annual Irene Ryan Acting Competition.  This competition takes place at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in each region; this year's Region V festival will be held at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.  

The competition consists of three rounds: preliminary (nominees are given three minutes to do a scene with a partner), semifinals (nominees are given five minutes to do two scenes with a partner), and finals (nominees are given six minutes to do two scenes with a partner and a solo piece.)  

So far this year, Ambrose has four nominees who will be competing.  Chosen from last year's shows were Anthony Stratton '12, Michael Kline '11, Aaron Randolph III '12, and Stephanie Seward '13.  Although they are  still awaiting two nominees from A New Brain and two more from this year's children's show, Dakota Jones and the Search for Atlantis, we've checked in with where the current nominees are in the process.

Anthony Stratton '12 was nominated for his portrayal of "Prep" in last year's production of Columbinus. Stratton was a partner last year for Monique Vos '10, but has never been a nominee before.  He's found the search for material a bit challenging.  "I've been making a list of pieces that I've seen potential in," says Stratton, "but I have not narrowed it down to a decision and I'm still looking for more material."  He also has yet to decide on a scene partner.

Michael Kline '11, also nominated for Columbinus, was chosen for his portrayal of "Loner".  Kline has been reading as many scripts as possible in his free time, as well as asking friends and mentors for help finding new and exciting scripts.  "This is my first experience as a nominee," says Kline, "but I have been a partner in the past, so I have a pretty good idea of how the process works."  Kline will be partnering with Dan Hernandez '11, at his sixth and probably last KCACTF.

Aaron Randolph III '12 was nominated for his portrayal of Lord Windermere in the April  production of Lady Windermere's Fan.  Although Randolph has been a partner many times before, this is his first experience as a nominee.  Since there are four nominations yet to be determined, Randolph has not chosen a partner, but has been searching in lots of plays.  "I've been focusing on things I've done so far," says Randolph, "I think it's always easier to take all that you learned about a character through a rehearsal process into your work on a scene."  However, nothing has stuck out to him as the perfect scene, so he has nothing chosen yet.

Stephanie Seward '13, also nominated for Lady Windermere's Fan, was chosen for her portrayal of the Duchess of Berwick.  This is Seward's third experience as a nominee, and she's hoping to try something new.  "For my first two experiences, my partner was a male," she says, "But I'm really trying to find material for two women this time around, for something new."  Although she has not determined who her partner will be, pending four more nominations, Seward has been trying to find a musical duet.  "Finding material for two women is quite a bit more difficult, I'm finding," she says, "But I have faith that I can find at least two solid scenes." We wish you all the best of luck in your searches, nominees! 

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