Dramatis Personæ

June 5, 2019
EWU Theatre students pose onstage

EWU students shine in theatre arts competition.

Each year the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts encourages thousands of student theatrical artists to present their best work in eight regional competitions. Those who emerge on top – a mere 125 in all — win an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in the center’s America College Theater National Festival.

Eastern students have long distinguished themselves in the Region VII competition. Last year, for example, three EWU undergraduates advanced to the final round of the Irene Ryan acting competition. One of those students, Varinique Davis (BA, Theater ’18) performed so well that she was awarded a Lin Manuel Miranda scholarship to travel to Puerto Rico with the cast of the Broadway smash “Hamilton.” A fourth EWU student, Hazel Bean, won the Mark Twain comedy award.

Left: Lysbeth Neel, Right: MJ “Maddy” Daly
Left: Lysbeth Neel, Right: MJ “Maddy” Daly

At this year’s regional event, held in February at the University of Oregon in Eugene, two additional EWU students, MJ “Maddy” Daly and Lysbeth Neel, each won their respective competitions: Daly the “Musical Theatre Scholarship Audition” and Neel the prize for stage management. In April, both represented the university at the national competition, where they joined in master classes at the Kennedy Center, visited with the professional cast and crew of D.C.’s theatrical landmarks, and networked with their talented peers from across the nation.