Fairmont University junior theatre major Ashley Fink and her partner, Nathaniel George, a senior Fairmont State Theatre major, will be traveling to the University of Maryland College Park to attend auditions for the highly competitive Irene Ryan Scholarship at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) Region 2.
The Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships provide recognition, honor, and financial assistance to outstanding student performers wishing to pursue further education. The Irene Ryan Foundation awards sixteen regional and two national scholarships annually. One nominee and partner from every region will be invited to the national festival and the nominee will receive a $500 scholarship. The runner-up in each region will receive a $500 scholarship, but will not attend the national festival to audition for the national scholarship.
KCACTF adjudicators traveled to Fairmont State University last fall to evaluate the mainstage production of The Mystery of Edwin Drood and respond to its actors. Ashley Fink was nominated to audition for the Irene Ryan Scholarship for her role as Rosa Bud in The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Ashley chose Nathaniel, also an actor in the fall musical, to be her scene partner for the auditions. The two actors will perform a scene together and Ashley will sing an excerpt of a song to compete for this highly competitive scholarship. If they pass the first round, they will be entered in to subsequent rounds until the winners are chosen. Ashley and Nathaniel will also have a chance to attend workshops and keynote speeches by professionals in the theatre arts, which will broaden their experience and understanding of their chosen field.
Fairmont State University Theatre Department also had two other students honored with a nomination from the mainstage production of The Mystery of Edwin Drood this past fall. Sarah Hinerman was also nominated for the Irene Ryan scholarship competition and Madeline Giambi was nominated to compete in the Musical Theatre Intensive Audition at KCACTF Region 2, which is an extension of the scholarship competition for musical theatre actors. Both students graduated with their B.A. in Theatre in December 2019 and are not attending the regional festival this year.