NWC theatre students win top acting awards

Northwestern College senior Alex Wendel (right), shown performing in last spring’s production of “The Winslow Boy,” won the Irene Ryan acting competition at the Region V Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in Lincoln, Neb., Jan. 19-25. 
Two Northwestern College theatre students won Irene Ryan acting recognition at the Region V Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF), held at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Jan. 19–25.

Senior Alex Wendel, Charles City, Iowa, and his scene partner Gerrit Wilford, a sophomore from Brandon, S.D., were one of two acting pairs from among more than 300 selected to advance to the national KCACTF event at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., in April. Wendel also won the Irene Ryan classical acting award and Wilford won best partner.

“It’s unusual for one team to win all three of the Irene Ryan awards Alex and Gerrit won,” said theatre professor Karen Bohm Barker, who teaches acting at Northwestern. “It’s quite a coup for us.”

Senior Tiffany Hach, Dysart, Iowa, and sophomore Kyle Ten Hulzen, Firth, Neb., were also recognized for their acting ability when they were selected from among 100 students who auditioned to perform in the festival’s 10-minute play showcase. A10-minute play by junior Rowan Sullivan, Julian, Calif., was one of the six selected from more than 100 entries for performance at the KCACTF.

A one-act play by Brianne Hassman, a sophomore from Spencer, Iowa, was one of three selected from 30 submissions to receive professional feedback at the festival.

Twenty-seven Northwestern theatre students attended the 46th annual regional festival to compete and attend theatre arts workshops alongside undergraduate and graduate students from six Midwestern states.