‘Cats make history at theater conference

Kyle Huizinga, Staff writer

Linfield students studying various elements of theater, including acting, costume design, stage design, and more participated in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival last month.

Theater students were selected by Linfield faculty to attend the conference and represent Linfield theater programs. The goal of the conference “is to identify and promote quality in college-level theatre,” says the official KCACTF website. The conference was held Feb. 19-23 at Gonzaga University near Spokane, Washington.

Winners of the conference, depending on the category are eligible for scholarships and other prizes. Linfield students and more specifically women took home three prizes.

Senior Savannah Hurst, junior Melory J. Mirashrafi, and senior Rosalie Olson received awards. Junior Antoine Johnson and Mirashrafi also made it to the semi-finals of the acting portion a major achievement.

Hurst took home an award in scenic design for “Ada and the Engine.” Olson was awarded the Barbizon National Award for Excellence in Costume Design. Mirashrafi received two awards, one for theater journalism and advocacy and the other the Voice And Speech Trainers Association award for vocal excellence.

Mirashrafi said, “I’m so proud of everyone who went to the conference, and I’m especially proud of Rosalie and Savannah for their achievements. Linfield women kicked ass and took names this year.”

Mirashrafi also said that she learned that she “need[s] to chill out. I’m so hard on myself, particularly when it comes to writing. When I found out that I had won the Theatre Advocacy and Journalism competition I couldn’t believe it, but it really did feel like loads of hard work paying off.”

Johnson also shared his experience of the theater conference. “[B]eing the first Linfield duo to make it to semifinals in ten years is incredibly exciting,” he said.

Johnson included that the “thrill of competing and knowing that I am improving is really validating.” He also enjoyed performing and observing the best actors in the Northwest area. The conference only strengthened his passion for acting.