Middlebury

Two Middlebury College Theatre Students Win American College Theatre Festival Awards

April 29, 2011

Carlie Crawford ’11 and Daniel Sauermilch ’13 Earn National Honors

Middlebury, VT—Two Middlebury College Theatre Students have earned national honors at the 2011 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Senior Carlie Crawford was presented the Barbizon Award for Excellence in Costume Design, in the Design, Technologies and Management Fellowships and Awards. Sophomore Daniel Sauermilch won the John Cauble Award for Outstanding Short Play for his work, The Rwandans’ Visit. Both Crawford and Sauermilch traveled to the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC for the annual Festival, and were presented with their respective awards on April 23, 2011.

Established in 1969, the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide. The KCACTF has grown into a network of more than 600 academic institutions throughout the country, where theater departments and student artists showcase their work and receive outside assessment by KCACTF respondents. Through state, regional, and national festivals, KCACTF participants celebrate the creative process, see one another’s work, and share experiences and insights within the community of theater artists. The KCACTF honors excellence of overall production and offers student artists individual recognition through awards and scholarships in playwriting, acting, criticism, directing, and design.

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Crawford submitted her costume design work from Jekyll, a new student theatre/film production sponsored by the Department of Theatre and Dance and the Department of Film and Media Culture.  Her highly detailed, steampunk-style costumes fused historical influences with science fiction inspiration. She competed against a field of graduate and undergraduate students from across the country. As part of her award, Crawford will travel to the Czech Republic in June 2011 for the Prague Quadrennial, an every-four-year international competition and exhibition that celebrates the most exciting aspects of performance and design from around the world.

Sauermilch’s play, The Rwandans’ Visit, examines issues of social class, race, diversity, and authenticity, all through the lens of two dysfunctional married couples. Sauermilch faced stiff competition from both undergraduate and graduate students nationwide, including entries from Yale University, New York University, Boston University, and University of California-San Diego. “It’s a smart, sophisticated, and hilarious piece of writing,” says Dana Yeaton, Middlebury College playwriting instructor and Sauermilch’s academic advisor. “I’ve watched three different audiences roar in knowing laughter at this play—and those were readings.”

The awards bolster the Middlebury College Department of Theatre and Dance’s position as a national leader in the field of theatre. “Taken together these awards reflect a rich and cohesive departmental culture that is rigorous and demanding, but also creative and—clearly—of the highest quality,” remarked Pieter Broucke, director of the arts and professor of history of art and architecture. The theatre program is characterized by its serious, thought-provoking exploration of challenging plays, and its unique affiliation with PTP/NYC, a summer professional theater company.

For more information about KCACTF, go to www.kcactf.org.