OMAHA – The University of Nebraska at Omaha's (UNO) production of George Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” adapted and directed by School of the Arts Director Jack Zerbe, is one of only six shows invited to perform at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) regionals this January in Minneapolis.
The festival runs Jan. 17-23.Region V consists of Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, South Dakota and North Dakota.
On the surface, “Animal Farm” appears to tell the story of starving farm animals who drive off their cruel master and begin running things themselves. Leadership falls to the pigs, who seem to be cleverer than the other animals. With new leadership comes new problems.
Orwell’s popular 1945 novel is a satire on the aftermath of the Russian Revolution and how a movement with idealistic beginnings gets corrupted by those with a taste of power. This production further explores the theme by showing a group of Bolsheviks who, under the guise of playing animals, describe how their revolution gets co-opted by the powerful.
The student cast of 12 includes: Alychia Bilstein, Randy Breedlove, Faith Gatewood, Makenzie Hemphill, Michael Juarez, Michael Judah, Leslie Little, Dylan Moellenberndt, Molly Mittan, Andy Prescott, Kameron Shelley, and Kisten Wilson.
The all-student design team includes Melissa Valdez as costume designer, Audrey Wardian as lighting designer and Aaron David Wrigley as Sound Designer. The student production staff includes Hannah Klein as stage manager, Savannah Savick as props master and Sarah Buck as production manager.
A number of students will also be competing for Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships, which provide recognition, honor and financial assistance to outstanding student performers wishing to pursue further education.
The Irene Ryan Foundation awards sixteen regional scholarships and two national scholarships each year. 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.
"Dracula" nominees--Michael Judah (Andy Prescott) and Enrique Madera (Samantha Mashek)
"The ThreePenny Opera" nominees--Eryn Hemmer (Brandon Williams) and Emily Hill (Faushia Weeden)
"Animal Farm" nominees--Michael Juarez (Torisa Walker), Randy Breedlove (Ankita Ashrit) and Leslie Little (Mike Burns)
For questions or media requests, please contact:
Erin Moran, UNO Theatre Public Relations & Marketing Coordinator
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.
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