Kennedy Festival Recognizes UTEP Theater Students
Last Updated on March 13, 2019 at 12:00 AM
Originally published March 13, 2019
By UC Staff
UTEP junior theatre performance major Larissa Arzate won the Irene Ryan Acting Competition at the Region 6 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Feb. 25-28 in Abilene, Texas.
Arzate, who worked with her acting partner Jeffrey Quintana, a senior musical theatre major, will compete for the national title in April at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Judges made their selection from 160 nominees. Among the category’s finalists was UTEP’s Bianca Taylor, a senior theatre performance major.
The last UTEP student to earn the national Irene Ryan recognition was Rebecca Rivas in 2004. Today Rivas is an assistant professor in the University’s Department of Theatre and Dance. Ryan, who died in 1970, was an El Paso native best known for her role as Granny on the 1960s television series “The Beverly Hillbillies.”
Tournament judges also recognized several other UTEP students for their recent work.
Olivia Fuentes and Athziri Morales, junior theatre technology and design majors; Itzel Martinez, senior stage management major; and Constanza Romero, junior theatre education major; earned the Don Childs Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas Collaboration Award.
Morales also earned the Allied Design and Technologies Award for “Bless Me, Ultima.” Romero received the SPAM Award for Excellence in Properties Design for “Hand to God.” As a result, she was invited to the annual U.S. Institute for Theatre Technology Conference March 20-23, 2019, in Louisville, Kentucky. The judges presented Fuentes with the Vectorworks Award for “Bless Me, Ultima,” and named her a runner up for the regional award for scene design for “Bless Me, Ultima.”
"It is wonderful to see our students recognized for their skills, talents and knowledge at these important regional competitions,” said Cristina Goletti, chair and associate professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance. “I'm very proud of each and every one of them. These acknowledgements also reflect positively on our department’s dedicated faculty and their commitment to excellence. I wish Larissa well at the national competition.
The Kennedy Center’s Region 6 represents academic institutions in Texas, Arkansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Louisiana.