Ohio University Lancaster Theatre students

OUL Theatre Students Nominated For Kennedy Center Fest

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Three students from the Ohio University Lancaster Theatre production of The Elephant Man have been nominated for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship and another OUL student was nominated to compete in the Design Category at the 27th annual Kennedy Center American College Theater Regional Festival this January in Cleveland, Ohio.

“I’m so proud of our students and all that they are accomplishing,” said OUL Theatre Director Victor Jones. “I am thrilled for them.”

The Kennedy Center American College Theater is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide.

The Kennedy Center festival has served as a catalyst to improve the quality of college theater in the United States and has grown into a network of more than 600 academic institutions throughout the country where theater departments and student artists showcase their work to receive outside assessment.

The Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship is named after the woman who played “Granny” on the 1960s television program The Beverly Hillbillies. OUL students Tyler Shahan, Christian Hill and Jesse Crook will compete at the festival in an effort to be awarded scholarships.

The scholarships provide recognition, honor and financial assistance to outstanding student performers wishing to pursue further education. Jesse Cunningham was nominated to compete in the Design Category for his Digital Backdrops/Animation Designs.

“Being part of the Kennedy Center festival is an amazing honor for our students and the OUL Theatre program,” said Jones. “It’s a testament to all the hard work our students are putting into each production.”

Last year, the entire cast of To Kill a Mockingbird was asked to perform one scene from the show and three student actors from the same show were nominated for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship.

This is a busy time for OUL Theatre, with students getting ready for the next production.  It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play is opening Wednesday, Dec. 3 in the Wagner Theatre. Opening night tickets are just $5. The show will run through Dec. 7. To purchase tickets, visit