News and Media

January 3, 2017

“Laramie Project” Actors Awarded First Merit Citation for Ensemble Acting; Invited to Perform Excerpt at Kennedy Center Festival

The Emmanuel College Performing Arts Department's fall production of "The Laramie Project" has been honored in a special way by the Selection and Awards Committee of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF). Student actors will receive the Region One (New England/New York) Merit Award for Outstanding Work by a College Ensemble, and an excerpt from the show will be presented at this year's Region One Festival, to be held at Western Connecticut State University from January 31–February 4, 2017.

This is a distinct honor, which an Emmanuel College cast is receiving for the first time, though College productions—including 2011's "25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" and 2012's "Mystery Radio Theater"—have received regional honors in previous years.

"While we have had productions cited for excellence and individuals nominated for competition many times, I am particularly happy that our students are being honored for their work as a group overall. This award reflects the community nature we strive for as a department and as an institution," said Associate Professor of Performing Arts and "Laramie Project" director Scott Gagnon.

In addition to this exciting honor, Performing Arts individualized majors Makenzie Moore '19 and John Nordt '18 have be invited to compete for the KCACTF's Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship, Christian Kelly '17 will compete for the Barbizon Award in Stage Management, and Miranda McLean '18 will receive a special citation for projection design for their work on "The Laramie Project."  

Started in 1969 by Roger L. Stevens, the Kennedy Center's founding chairman, the Kennedy Center American College Theater (KCACTF) is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide, which has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college theater in the United States. The KCACTF has grown into a network of more than 600 academic institutions throughout the country, where theater departments and student artists showcase their work and receive outside assessment by KCACTF respondents.  

The full cast of "The Laramie Project":

  • Maggie Archdeacon '19
  • Janette Birtha '20
  • Eimile Bowden '18
  • Jack Constantine '17
  • Darren Cornell '16 (returning as a guest alumnus)
  • Abby Desrosiers '20
  • Sophia LaFontaine '19
  • Christina Listro '17
  • Connor Lynch '19
  • Samantha Martin '17
  • Makenzie Moore '19
  • Brandon Morales '20
  • John Nordt '18
  • Haley Parker '19
"The Laramie Project" cast