Montclair State Theatre Students Win National Awards

Ari Frenkel (left) and Tim Hackney

Montclair State theatre students, seniors Ari Frenkel and Tim Hackney, and graduate student Ingrid Proos have each won top awards at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival 2008 National Festival held recently in Washington, D.C.

As a team, Frenkel and Hackney were awarded the prestigious Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship with Frenkel recognized as the winner and Hackney as best acting partner. The Irene Ryan Scholarships, only two of which were handed out this year, are generally considered to be the highest honor attainable by college actors. Hackney also won individually in a separate category claiming the Kingsley Colton Outstanding Partner Award.

"It's a tremendous achievement for both Ari and Tim as well as for the department and the College of the Arts,” says Susan Kerner, associate professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance. “Regional winners compete from all over the country for this honor. We’ve had several regional winners in the past few years, but Ari is the first in recent history to win the big prize at the national level.”

Proos took top honors in the design category winning the Best Costume Design award for the costumes she created for a production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. By winning this coveted award, she is entitled to take part in a two-week workshop in Washington D.C. with internationally renowned scenic artist Ming Cho Lee and costume designer Constance Hoffman.

Begun in 1969 the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival is a national theatre program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide. The Festival has grown to involve a network of more than 600 academic institutions throughout the country and has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college theater in the U.S.

See more photos from the Awards Ceremony here.