There’s excitement in the Department of Theatre and Dance these days. Actually, things are normally pretty dramatic around there, but even more so since three theatre majors were recently recognized for significant contributions to their respective specialties.
The three students – Ceili Hesselgrave, Natasha Cox and Carrie Ferrelli – won accolades for their scenic and costume designs at the Southeastern Theatre Conference held in Mobile, Alabama, March 6-11, 2018.
There were 147 different design entries in the conference’s contest and these CofC students were chosen as winners. Cox won first place in undergraduate costume design for her work on the College’s production of ENRON. Hesselgrave won first place in undergraduate scenic design for her work on the same production. And Ferrelli won third place in undergraduate scenic design for her sets in the College’s production of An Enemy of the People.
“I think these accomplishments are extremely important,” says associate professor of theatre Charles Calvert, who was one of the faculty members who worked with the students that attended the conference last month.
“These competitions are a way to measure a student’s progress against their peers from other institutions,” says Calvert. “And some of those institutions have big programs like Wake Forest and Ball State. The presentations that these students prepared were the culmination of a year’s worth of research, creative work and collaboration.”
Calvert says the student’s success in that competition has already led to invitations for them to apply for apprenticeships working with stage designers in New York.
“They’ve also gained the attention of several graduate programs in stage design,” he says. “I’m certain that this highlight on their résumés will continue to attract attention from schools and employers for years to come.”
Both Ferrelli and Hesselgrave received grant funding from the College’s Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Program (URCA) to pursue their respective projects. In addition, they also received financial support to help cover travel expenses to the conference through URCA’s Research Presentation Grants program.
Feature photo: Carrie Ferrelli with a sample set design. (Photo by Reese Moore)