The Chapman University Department of Theatre is fielding a team of 16 actors to participate in the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Competition at the Region VIII Festival of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) in Ogden, Utah, February 7-11, 2012.  Since 1972, the Irene Ryan Foundation has awarded scholarships to the outstanding student performers at each KCACTF regional festival. These scholarships are made possible by the generosity of the late Irene Ryan, who is best remembered for her portrayal of the lovable and feisty “Granny Clampett” on The Beverly Hillbillies.

Started in 1969 by Roger L. Stevens, the Kennedy Center’s founding chairman, KCACTF is a national theatre program involving 18,000 students from more than 600 colleges and universities nationwide, which has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of collegiate theatre. Through KCACTF, theatre departments and student artists showcase their work and receive outside assessment by KCACTF respondents.  The Irene Ryan Acting Competition, held at the regional festival, will see approximately 400 students competing.  Two finalists will move on to the National Competition, held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC in April.

The Chapman Irene Ryan nominees were selected from each theatre department production in the past year by the KCACTF respondents who attended the show.  Chapman has 10 nominees:  Bethany Bonnaud (’13), Conor Brown (’12), Chase Cargill (’14), AJ Costa, (’13), Matthew Brown (’13), Kellie Spill (’12), Andre Stojka (’12), Christopher Voss (’12), Samuel Weiner (’12) and Malia Wright (’12).  Each nominee works with a partner to present two scenes and a monologue.  Partners joining the nominees are Jordan Bellow (’13), Roscoe Brandon (’12), Martha Magruder (’12), Amir Malaklou (’12), Trevor Shor (’13) and Colin Stephens (’14).