Wednesday, January 23, 2002
OU student earns acting honors
Theatre performance students from Oakland University's Department of Music, Theatre and Dance participated in the annual American College Theatre Festival in Evansville, Ind., the week of Jan. 8-11.
Most students attending the festival were nominees for the Irene Ryan acting scholarship, a prestigious national award recognizing young, talented performers.
Graduating senior Jessica Elwart moved through the original 350 nominees to qualify as one of 40 semi-finalists and ultimately placed as one of the 16 finalists in the region III competition.
Her performance pieces included a dramatic scene from "Medea" and the vocal selection, "Welcome to Holiday Inn," by Cy Coleman from the musical "Seesaw."
Elwart received her nomination from her performance as Fraulien Schneider in last season's production of "Cabaret," in which she gave a moving performance of the boarding house owner who must sacrifice her love for fear of the rising Nazi frenzy in pre-World War II Germany.
Other productions she has appeared in are "Hey There, Good Times," "The Wind in the Willows," "Top Girls," "27 Wagons Full of Cotton," "Rock 'n Roll Lysistrata," and "Death and the King's Horseman." She most recently appeared in "Romeo and Juliet" as the nurse.
Elwart also has contributed a number of technical works throughout her undergraduate career as scenic painter, stage manager and lighting designer. In addition to her stage credits, she has worked as an assistant in the publicity office for the past four years.
Elwart has been the recipient of Music, Theatre and Dance Department awards and two Matilda Awards for service and for her theatre successes. The Matilda Awards, named for the founder of Oakland University, are given annually to honor the contributions of students and community members to the arts at Oakland.
Elwart is a Novi native and a 1997 graduate of Walled Lake Western High School.