Haley Mulder – Staff Writer
“It’s like America’s Next Top Model for theatre kids,” junior Megan Ludens said.
Elaborate gowns, feathery birds and dirty pirates along with many more award winning costumes from colleges and universities all over the mid-west participated in the parade on the final night of the American College Theatre Festival (ACTF), which ran from Jan. 20-24 in Lincoln, Nebr.
Dordt’s costumes, designed by Sue Blom for the fall production of The School for Scandal, won a regional award. Five costumes from the show were featured in the costume parade on the main-stage theatre for an audience of more than 1,000 people.
Ludens, who participated in the costume parade, wore a huge orange dress that belonged to the character of “Mrs. Candour” who was played by Carolyn Van der Aa this past fall.
“It’s a big deal for a designer’s work to be chosen and presented at the festival,” Ludens said. “Only 12 sets of costumes are chosen in our five state region. It’s an honor to take part in the parade and to be able to see all of the beautiful costumes that other schools had used in their shows.”
Each year, students from Dordt’s theatre department go to the festival to compete in all different aspects of theatre including acting, designing, stage managing, and costuming.
Some went because they received Irene Ryan Acting Nominations in one of Dordt’s past productions. This year, those students were Kyle Fosse, Haley Mulder, Samantha Leverton, Nathan Sparks, Jerusha Pimentel, and Megan Ludens.
The Irene Ryan students performed in front of a panel of judges with a scene they had chosen and worked on. Each of the nominees had an acting partner that they chose.
After auditioning for the Irene Ryan Scholarship, the nominees got personal feedback from the judges.
“It’s refreshing to be around so many people who share the same passions as I do,” junior Irene Ryan nominee Jerusha Pimentel said.
Students attended theatrical workshops including, acting, lightning design, technical theatre, makeup/costume design and more.
Junior technical theatre major Jessica McCarty had the opportunity to stage-manage the Irene Ryan Acting Finals on the festival’s main-stage theatre Friday evening.
“It’s a great experience to be able to learn from such seasoned professionals in the business that I’m interested in,” McCarty said. “I loved being able to work in a different setting with different dynamics at a high performance level.”