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AQUINAS THEATRE DOMINATES LOCAL AWARD NOMINATIONS

August 14, 2009 - The Aquinas College Theatre Program collected ten 2009 Grand Award nominations for its 2008-2009 productions. The Grand Awards are given for excellence in local community and collegiate theatre. Aquinas' ten are out of a possible eighteen given to area collegiate work.

Two of Aquinas' four mainstage shows from last year, the musical farce Forbidden Broadway and the Contemporary Writer's Series-sponsored production Writer 1272, are nominated for Best Collegiate Production. The directors of both shows, Mary Rademacher and AQ Theatre Program Director Randy Wyatt, respectively, are nominated for Best Director.

In addition, Aquinas completely shut out all competitors in the Best Supporting Actor category, taking all three nominations with sophomore Joshua Devitt for his turn as the murdered father Don Sixto in Esperanza Rising, sophomore Duncan McCargar for his dual roles as the equally neurotic Jonas and Jasper in Writer 1272, and senior Rob Karel for his deft satires of Mandy Pantinkin and Carol Channing in Forbidden Broadway.

Actresses received their fair share of nominations as well. Senior Chelsea Kaye received a Best Lead Actress nod for her role as the envious sister Faith in Writer 1272. Sophomore Chelsea Pummill rounds out the nominations from Writer 1272 for her Best Supporting Actress turn as the quirky and dessert-obsessed mother Charlotte, and junior Anna Ferris also scored in the Best Supporting category for playing the fiery Mexicana protestor in Esperanza Rising.

"The program isn't just growing, it's exploding," said Wyatt. "There's excitement and momentum over here like you wouldn't believe. Our audiences for last season were some of the largest we've seen yet."

The strong showing with nominations coupled with the newly formed Children's Theatre tour that performed Brave Little Tailor for hundreds of children last fall has resulted in a higher community profile for the seven year old program. "We're eager to do it all again this year," said Wyatt.

The Grand Awards are sponsored by the Grand Foundation and raise funds for the Combined Theatre Scholarships. The awards will be presented in a gala ceremony October 4 at the Aquinas Performing Arts Center.

Full list of AQ nominations:
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Chelsea Pummill – Writer 1272

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Anna Ferris – Esperanza Rising

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR: Duncan McCargar – Writer 1272

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR: Rob Karel – Forbidden Broadway

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR: Josh Devitt – Esperanza Rising

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS: Chelsea Kaye – Writer 1272

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A PRODUCTION: Randy Wyatt – Writer 1272

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A PRODUCTION: Mary Rademacher – Forbidden Broadway

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION: Forbidden Broadway

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION: Writer 1272