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BSC technical theater students win regional award

Posted on 1/25/2012

Bismarck State College technical theater students took first place in the Stage Crew Showdown Jan. 16-21 at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) Region V competition at Iowa State University.

Now holder of the giant Golden Wrench traveling trophy, BSC won after only competing in the Stage Crew Showdown for the first time last year. The BSC team swept ahead of 14 four-year universities and another two-year college in the contest.

"It means a lot to see that the experience and education students receive at BSC is as good if not better than what big schools offer in the first two years of college," said Dean Bellin, assistant professor of technical theatre and showdown coach.

BSC's sophomore team of Chelsea Brown (captain), Alex Johnson, Charley Connor and Cody Walker raced through timed events that also were judged on quality and proper technique. Categories included knot and curtain tie, prop placement, lighting instrument hang and focus, and costume quick change.

Bellin said the trophy carries weight because theater professionals representing the Santa Fe Opera, Cirque du Soleil, and other premier organizations judged the finals.

Brown and Johnson, both technical theater majors, also received individual awards of merit for their work in BSC's winter play, "The Dead Guy," seen by KCACTF judges in December. Brown captured outstanding stage manager and Johnson won in media design for his video work. Other BSC students earned roles in the festival's Directors' Showcase and 10-minute play competition.

Bellin said the Golden Wrench trophy will be displayed in the theater gallery hallway between Schafer Hall and the Leach Music Center.

The American College Theater Festival is comprised of eight regional festivals that offer theater craft training and present the best plays and talent in each region. The program, run by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., also recognizes excellence with awards and scholarships. Colleges in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa make up Region V.

About Bismarck State College
Bismarck State College, an innovative community college in Bismarck, N.D., offers high quality education, workforce training, and enrichment programs reaching local and global communities. For more information visit

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