Setting the Stage
Setting the Stage: theatre student Haley Johnson

Setting the Stage

Updated April 13, 2018: Haley Johnson, assisted by Andrew Dipoto, is the winner of the Irene Ryan Scholarship Contest - first nationally of over 2,000 contestants! She has also won an internship with the National New Play Network & is the co-winner of the Mark Twain Comic Performance Award. Congratulations, Haley! #GracelandPride

In January, theatre major Haley Johnson ’19 placed first out of participants from 315 teams from seven states at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) Region V Conference in Des Moines, Iowa.

“the one thing I kept saying to my partner was, ‘if we were proud of what we did in the room, then we already won.’ ”

Haley’s positive vibes paid off, and her first-place title will send her to the national festival in Washington, D.C., in April, where she will compete with seven other regional winners at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for one of two Irene Ryan Acting Fellowships, awarded on top of the Irene Ryan Scholarship she won at the regional level.

The festival, which was started in 1969 by Roger L. Stevens, founder and chairman of the Kennedy Center, strives to recognize the artistic talents of young college actors and features the finest works of theatre departments from over 700 higher learning institutions that participate nationwide.

Graceland congratulates Haley and wishes her the best in April! 

THE KENNEDY CENTER AMERICAN COLLEGE THEATER FESTIVAL also recognized the outstanding work of individuals in the following Graceland productions:

Lend Me a Tenor
Directed by Gary Heisserer

Seth Campbell 
for scenic design

The cast for its comic ensemble work in the homecoming production

Directed by Gary Heisserer

Seth Campbell and Kris Kirkwood for scenic and projection design

Heathers: The Musical
Directed by Tracy Salter

Gretchen Halle for costume design

Josephine Acland and Tiffany Smith for poster and program design

Stage managers and backstage crew