RIC production, students receive awards from American College Theatre Festival

“A-Mirror-Ca, A Reflection on America’s Media-Driven Culture” – a production written, directed and choreographed by Angelica Vessella ’97 – won the “Outstanding Writing, Ensemble, and Execution Award,” at the American College Theatre Festival (ACTF) on Jan. 28. Three RIC theatre students received awards at the event as well.

The festival was held at Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts from Jan. 24 to 29.

Vessella, RIC director of dance, and Bill Wilson, musical theatre director at the college, worked together to make changes to the original script of “A-Mirror-Ca,” which was most recently presented on Dec. 2 and 3 in the Nazarian Center’s Sapinsley Hall, and featured 18 students from RIC’s Dance and Theatre programs.

The award was the only one of its kind given in the Region I, which traditionally involves institutions from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Eastern New York.

Once Vessella and Wilson entered “A-Mirror-Ca” into the ACTF, a representative from the organization attended RIC’s production, and afterwards met with the staff, crew and students involved to tell them what they thought of the show.

The feedback was good, said Wilson, and last week when the ACTF posted their program for the event, RIC was printed in the program as the sole recipient for the Outstanding Writing, Ensemble and Execution Award.

Several RIC students accompanied Vessella and Wilson to accept the award, and also to compete in both drama and musical theatre programs there.

Naysh Fox, a RIC musical theatre student, won The Richard Maltby Jr. Award for an outstanding musical theatre performance. Dan Larson, also a musical theatre major, and Kelli Noonan, a theatre student, were semi-finalists in the Irene Ryan Acting Competition.

The ACTF was founded in 1969 by The John. F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. This national theatre program involves approximately 18,000 students in over 600 academic institutions across the nation.