Colorado State University Theatre Program Students are Best in Show at Regional Conference

For the first time, Colorado State University’s theater program swept the awards at the annual Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in February in Moscow, Idaho.

Three faculty and 22 students traveled to the University of Idaho for the conference and came home happy: CSU students won every event that they entered for a total of five awards.

Senior theater major Erin Fried won "Best Actor" in the Irene Ryan Acting Competition. Fried is one of only 16 actors chosen nationally to continue to Washington, D.C. for the final round in the national conference in mid-April.

"There was a lot of talent from the 151 candidates," said Fried, who was shocked to learn she won the award. "I am honored to have been selected for such a prestigious award."

The play, "The Distance From Here," written by Neil LaBute, was performed by CSU students to a crowd of 450 people and was named "Best Production" in the regional competition.

"The audience was supportive and nice to our CSU student performers, stopping them during the festival and sitting down to talk with them," said CSU theater program Director Walt Jones. "On the night of the performance, the audience was cheering, laughing, crying and then leaping to their feet, ‘just like they do in the movies,’ I heard someone say."

"The Distance From Here" is an intense look at the dark side of American suburbia and was performed at CSU last fall.

Junior performing arts major Christina Fontana won one of only two stage management awards.  In "Tech Olympics," senior performing arts major Annaleigh Timmerman won the fastest knot-tying event. For the fifth time, CSU took home the Golden Hand Truck award recognizing the most efficient load in and esprit de corps.

Fried is heading to Washington, D.C. next month for the Kennedy Center national conference.