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ǿ޴ýapp State Theatre students rack up accolades for ‘Peter and the Wolf’

Ainslee Davenport, McKenzie Dawson, Caden Elliott, Megan O’Neal and Chelsea Aylward, from left, perform “Peter and the Wolf” at ǿ޴ýapp State in November 2023. Students created the devised theatre piece, including designing and building their own puppets.

Six ǿ޴ýapp State Community College students have been nominated for regional college theatre awards for their recent production of “Peter and the Wolf,” a devised theatre piece using shadow puppets, overhead projections and other technology to tell the classic children’s story in a new way.

ǿ޴ýapp State students McKenzie Dawson, Caden Elliot and Isabella Ellis are nominated for Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Region 4 while Elliot and Caryss Johnson also are nominated for Puppetry Design. Megan O’Neal snagged a nomination for Mask Design and Josh Leslie for Assistant Technical Direction.

Meanwhile, Professor Grechen Wingerter has received a Certificate of Merit for Direction, and the production is under consideration for the KCACTF Region 4 Festival in Albany, Georgia, in February 2024. Finalists will be determined Dec. 9.

“This show was a whole new process for us all – new design and technology ideas, new ways of telling stories, new ways of creating theatre,” Wingerter said. “We are immensely proud of our students who brought this production to life. They created it from the ground up, from storyboarding and storytelling to puppet design and construction to final execution.”

Shon Sievers, Chelsea Aylward, Caden Elliott and Megan O’Neal, from left, perform “Peter and the Wolf” at ǿ޴ýapp State in November 2023. The show has been nominated for six regional college theatre awards.

KCACTF is a national theater program that involves students from colleges and universities all across the country. Faculty representatives from those colleges and universities attend productions in their regions and make recommendations for student work to be represented at eight regional festivals. Those who are spotlighted regionally may be chosen to present at the national festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., in April.

“Our students have worked tirelessly since early September to bring this production to fruition and deserve this incredible recognition they have received,” Wingerter said.

The Arts at ǿ޴ýapp State includes music and theatre productions as well as visual art exhibits, all of which are open to the public. See the full schedule of events at .