Dordt College News

Horlings, Koerner theater productions selected

January 19, 2006

Two Dordt College student productions will be awarded special recognition at the Region V American College Theater Festival (ACTF) at North Dakota State University Jan. 22-28. Horlings

“The Life Everlasting” was named as alternate for the festival, where only nine shows have been invited to perform (this year there were 56 participating entries). Jonathan Horlings wrote and directed this play which was presented at Dordt in December. The plot for Horlings’ play revolved around three sisters trapped in an abandoned basement, where childhood actions came back to haunt them. Horlings is a theatre arts major from Brantford, Ontario, Canada, who graduated at the end of the fall semester.

Included in the festival’s Showcase of Invited Scenes will be a scene from “DeathSong,” written and produced by Ethan Koerner, Lincoln, NE. Koerner graduated in May with a degree in theatre arts and emphases in acting/directing, design and scenic art. Koerner’s play was an exploration of the experience of death and dying, and included more than 30 puppets made by Koerner and a Dordt art student (Joe Hoksburgen).

In addition, costume designs from this year’s October production “Into the Woods,” will be displayed at the regional event. Dordt’s costume designer and seamstress, Sue Blom, tailor-made approximately 50 fairy tale costumes for that production with workstudy student assistance.

Both Koerner and Blom were also invited to participate in last year’s ACTF festival, held in St. Louis. At that festival, Koerner advanced to the final round in the Irene Ryan Acting Competition, where he was among the final eight in a field of 300 competitors. Horlings

In ’03-’04, Dordt College was one of seven Midwest colleges selected to perform at the regional festival in Denver with their fall show, “All My Sons.” That play was held for national consideration, a first in Dordt College history.

Region V consists of colleges in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North and South Dakota. Adjudicators attend each theater event at participating college campuses and select the best to perform at regional festivals. At regionals, judges may then choose to hold performances to advance to the (noncompetitive) national festival.

Through state, regional, and national festivals, ACTF participants celebrate the creative process, see one another’s work, and share experiences and insights within the community of theater artists. The ACTF honors excellence of overall production and offers student artists individual recognition through awards and scholarships in playwriting, acting, criticism, directing and design.

The Dordt College Theatre Arts Department offers a major in theatre arts with emphases in acting and directing; design and scenic art; drama ministry; dramaturgy; technical theatre; and theatre management. Students may also minor in theatre arts or add a theatre specialization to a teacher education degree.

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