Each year, the eight KCACTF regions honor individuals or organizations that have made extraordinary contributions to the teaching and producing of theatre and who have significantly dedicated their time, artistry and enthusiasm to the development of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Most importantly, recipients have demonstrated a strong commitment to the values and goals of KCACTF and to excellence in educational theatre. It is the most prestigious regional award given by KCACTF and is considered one of the great honors in theatre education.
2013 Gold Medallion Recipient
G. Shizuko Herrera, California State University, Los Angeles
G. Shizuko Herrera, or “Shiz” has been involved in technical theatre for 40 years. She has taught stagecraft and design at East Los Angeles College and Los Angeles City College. Shiz is now a full professor at California State University, Los Angeles and serves as Associate Chair, and Principal Undergraduate Advisor for the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance. She has designed scenery, lighting, costumes, makeup, props and has also dabbled in directing.
Shiz has been associated with the East West Players, the Nation’s Premier Asian American theatre company designing and working with their founding director, Mako. In addition to theatre, she has costumed a few feature films, a TV pilot, and been nominated for a Lester Horton Award for excellence in Dance Lighting for the Hae Kyung Lee Dancers at the Japan America Theatre. With the East West Players, she received a Back Stage West Garland award for Lighting on PACIFIC OVERTURES at the David Henry Hwang Theatre and an Ovation and LA Weekly award for Lighting on SWEENEY TODD at their Silverlake theatre. Most recently she received a Fellowship award for the Japan Studies Institute from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.
Her involvement with the KCACTF goes back to 1990 when she began as a Design Respondent for the then Circuit 2. She became the Design Coordinator in 2000 and later took on the Stage Management Fellowship Coordinator for Region 8 in 2009.
CSULA hosted Festival 40 in 2008 with Shiz as lead faculty host. In 2009, she was honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Design, Technology, & Management area.
This Golden Medallion of Excellence is the highlight at the end of her long affiliation with the KCACTF as she enters retirement, but hopes to volunteer in Region 3 as she plans to relocate to Madison, Wisconsin.
ATHE/KCACTF Innovative Teaching Award
Founded in 1986, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) is a non-profit professional organization representing college and university theatre departments and administrators, faculty, graduate students, and theatre practitioners. ATHE's mission is to support and advance the study and practice of theatre and performance in higher education. Toward that mission, we are pleased to grant the annual ATHE Prize for Teaching Innovation to an individual in each KCACTF region who has demonstrated their ability to discover new pathways for student success in the field of theatre. It is our pleasure to recognize as the 2013 Region VIII winner of the ATHE Prize for Innovative Teaching:
Tanya Kane Parry, California State University, Los Angeles
Tanya Kane-Parry’s work in post-modern theatre, avant-garde performance and performance art adds a radically creative element to our curriculum, both as seminar instructor and director. Her innovative way of thinking about performance and interpretation serves as a catalyst for students and colleagues alike to take the conventional, tear it down, and create an entirely new approach to a work. Professor Kane-Parry is a gifted teacher with years of professional experience in the discipline, which she brings to the table in every instructional situation. She is loved and admired by her students who often return to CSULA to seek her wisdom and advice in their career.
Excellence in Theatre Education Award
This honor, given for the first time in 1997, recognizes faculty and staff in various universities and colleges throughout the region who go "beyond the call of duty" in devoting their time, efforts, talent, and energies on behalf of the students and in support of the other faculty and staff of their institution. The following recipients of the "Excellence in Theatre Education Award" are individuals recognized by the Board of Governors of the Kennedy Center/American College Theater Festival, Region VIII for their unique commitment to their students, their colleagues, their institution, and their profession. We wish to honor their vision, knowledge, high intention, and sincere effort in fostering, supporting and developing a greater respect and appreciation for theatre, theatre education, and all who participate in it.
2013 Excellence in Theatre Education Recipients
Leslie Ferreira, Theatre Academy at Los Angeles City College
Leslie Ferreira is a Professor in the Theatre Academy at Los Angeles City College. He received his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and his M.F.A.in Directing from Carnegie Mellon University where he studied with Lawrence Carra. Two of his original physical theatre productions, Unto You and Within Us, (co-directed with Tina Kronis), and Sam Shepard’s The Unseen Hand and A.R. Gurney’s The Dining Room, were performed at Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festivals. His most recent collaboration, with Theatre Movement Bazzar, The Untitled Warhol Project, performed at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble and The Los Angeles Theatre Center as part of KCACTF Festival 45 where it won six national awards including Outstanding Direction, Distinguished Devised Work and Distinguished Ensemble. A member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, Mr. Ferreira was for many years the Society's Regional Coordinator on the West Coast and has coordinated the SDC Event at three Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festivals. He served for many years as an Ovation Voter for the Los Angeles Stage Alliance and has sat on the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department Grant Panel for Dance. In 2009 the Kennedy Center/American College Theater Festival honored him with the Faculty Fellowship in Directing for Outstanding Achievement as a Teaching Artist.
Wade Hollingshaus, Brigham Young University
Wade Hollingshaus is an assistant professor in Brigham Young University’s department of Theatre and Media Arts, where he teaches courses in theatre history, theory, and criticism and is head of dramaturgy studies. He holds an M.A. in Scandinavian Studies from the University of Washington and a Ph.D. in Theatre Historiography and Performance Studies from the University of Minnesota. His research is located primarily in the new field of Performance Philosophy, where he explores politico-materialist critiques of various performance sites as they function in neoliberal environments. He also researches and teaches Finnish literature and theatre. He has been published in Theatre Topics, Scandinavian Studies, Review: The Journal of Dramaturgy, The Journal of Religion and Theatre, The Journal of Finnish Studies, TDR, Theatre Journal, and Ecumenica. In 2013, he published his first book: Philosophizing Rock Performance: Dylan, Hendrix, Bowie. He occasionally works as a professional dramaturg for Pioneer Theatre Company, in Salt Lake City, and since 2011, he has been the NPP chair for Region VIII of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. He is happily married to Jennine Hollingshaus and has five children.
Chris Mangels, College of the Sequoias
Holding an MFA in Musical Theatre from San Diego State University, Chris is a full-time professor in the College of Sequoias Theatre Arts Department in Visalia, CA, where he serves as a director, fight choreographer, scenic designer, and founder of the Experimental Theatre Ensemble, a production company that he developed to give students the opportunity to conceptualize and develop productions from the ground up. At COS, he has directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Julius Caesar, Urinetown: The Musical, The Hobbit, The Grapes of Wrath, As You Like It, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Rashomon, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Dracula, Our Country’s Good, and Richard III as well as designed the sets for such ambitious productions as The Phantom of the Opera, Sweeney Todd, and The Secret Garden. In addition to his work at COS, Chris has also designed and built puppets for Avenue Q and Shrek: The Musical, and has directed such challenging fare as Avenue Q, Assassins, and Art. As an actor, Chris has worked across the nation in such venues as Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Court Theatre: Chicago, and Lamb’s Players, and even adapted his own production of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol which he has repeatedly performed as a one-man show to great acclaim. Chris currently resides in Visalia with his wife and best friend, Diane, and their beautiful daughter, Sage.
Mark Ramont, California State University, Fullerton
Mark Ramont is an Associate Professor and Head of Directing in the Department of Theatre and Dance at California State University, Fullerton. He has also taught at Rice University (Head of Theatre) and Sam Houston State University, and has guest directed at Southwestern University, the University of Minnesota, Duluth, and Sarah Lawrence College, among others. In addition to directing at such professional theatres as Circle Rep (NYC), the Alley Theatre (Houston), Ford's Theatre (Washington, DC), Round House Theatre (Bethesda, MD) and Vermont Stage Company (Burlington), he served as Director of Theatre Programming at Ford's Theatre and Associate Artistic Director at Circle Rep. He served as Artistic Director of the Hangar Theatre (Ithaca, NY) and Capitol City Playhouse (Austin). He holds a BA in Theatre from CSU Fullerton and an MFA in Directing from the University of Texas. He is the recipient of the Princess Grace Foundation (USA) Statuette Award for Sustained Excellence.
Jeff Thomson, USA 829, Arizona State University
Jeff Thomson has been a Designer and Professor of Design for the theatre since 1968. He was Design Faculty at the University of Wyoming, Macalister College in St Paul Minnesota, The University of Michigan, and for the past 33 years, the Professor of Scenic and Production Design at The School of Film, Dance, and Theatre at Arizona State University in Tempe.
During his 46 years in the profession Jeff has designed scenery, lighting, and special projects in 13 states for many regional theatre companies including, The Arizona Theatre Company, Actors Theatre of Phoenix, The Fulton Opera in Lancaster PA, Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis, USIU in San Diego, The Arkansas Repertory, Shakespeare Sedona, Childsplay, Music Theatre of Wichita, American Stage in St. Petersburg, The Laguna Playhouse, and Dream Street Films in Los Angeles. He was a Set Designer for two feature films: Dinner at Eight for TNT, Mother Goose Rock 'N Rhyme for Disney and has designed Business Theatre Sets for HBO, MTV, General Motors, Delta Airlines, Coca Cola, and Airbus International. Jeff has been an All-Category member of The United Scenic Artists 829 since 1974.