The Theatre Association of New York State (TANYS) has again asked Genesee Community College to host the annual TANYS Festival.
It's an indication that Genesee's Theatre Arts program is on the rise among higher education programs across the state.
At last month's TANYS festival, Genesee's production of "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enuf" by Ntozake Shange, took top honors.
The performance was awarded in four categories:
- "Excellence in Acting to the Ladies of Color for their Ensemble Work" to Anjelica Sistrunk, Lady in Brown; Faith Horne, Lady in Green; Crystal Ray, Lady in Orange; Samara Brown, Lady in Blue; Nikole Marone, Lady in Red; and Nikkia A. Travis, Lady in Yellow;
- The "Excellence in Choreography" went to Madia Cooper;
- "Excellence in Acting" went to Nikole Marone for her portrayal of the Lady in Red;
- "For Colored Girls" also received the highest honor, "Best Long Play of 2009," a remarkable achievement for Genesee's Theatre Arts program.
"I began working on 'For Colored Girls' in the spring, and was finally able to recruit the right ensemble," said Maryanne Arena, director of Fine and Performing Arts at Genesee. "This performance showcases the importance of ensemble work and the wealth of talent that is cultivated from Genesee's Theatre program."
This was the second year Genesee Center for the Arts hosted the TANYS event. By all accounts, the college provided a top-notch production crew for the weekend-long event, using theater students led by Technical Theatre Program Director Ed Hallborg.
Throughout the weekend, the crew was consistently praised for their ability and professionalism. The students involved were stage managers: Jessica Francis and Amelia Favata; lighting designers, Adam Wilbur and Sara Leonard; sound designer, Joe Catalano; and the run crew, comprised of Alex Farley, Jamie Hicks and Tyler Eldred.
In previous years, Genesee's Forum Players have also been recommended for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (ACTF). The ACTF is a national theater program involving 18,000 college and university students. It has helped improve the quality of U.S. college theater. The Forum Players will not be competing this year in ACTF due to funding limitations and because they were featured in the TANYS festival.
Genesee students have appeared on Broadway, auditioned and gone on to conservatory training, and are working professionally on stage, movies and television. Graduates have also attended the prestigious American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. Genesee students who have transferred and graduated from other four-year institutions have been featured in films, started theater companies, served as artistic directors, interned for regional equity theatres, designed costumes for college and equity theaters, and taught acting at professional theaters to elementary and high school students.
The Genesee Center for the Arts is another reason students choose to hone their artistic talents here. It's a modern facility with a 328-seat theater, rehearsal studio, dressing rooms, full scene shop, a well-equipped costume shop, and state-of-the-art sound and lighting studio.
Award-wining faculty help Genesee's Theatre Arts program shine among other programs. Maryanne Arena, director of Fine and Performing Arts, was a professional actor, singer, dancer, choreographer, and director before turning to a full-time teaching career. She holds an MFA in Acting/Theatre and has toured the United States with several professional theater companies. She recently received the 2009 SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service.
To discover all the opportunities in Genesee's Fine and Performing Arts programs visit http://www.genesee.edu/index.cfm/program/dspArticle/arts.theatre/default... . <http://www.genesee.edu/index.cfm/program/dspArticle/arts.theatre/default...