Kennedy Center honors Cedarville theatre production


Xenia Daily Gazette



CEDARVILLE — The Kennedy Center American Theater Festival recognized Cedarville University’s fall production, “The Diary of Anne Frank,” with five certificates of merit and two Irene Ryan Acting Award nominations.

T.L. Denen, a junior theatre major from Xenia, received a certificate of merit for her sound design; Remy Patterson, a senior theatre major from Michigan, for his dramaturgy work; Samantha E. G. Partridge, a sophomore theatre major from Michigan, for stage management; Dr. Diane Conrad Merchant, professor of theatre, for directing; and the entire cast for ensemble acting.

“All of the participants in the production of this show are incredibly honored to be recognized by such a prestigious organization and grateful for the opportunity to represent Cedarville University,” Merchant said. “All involved gladly welcomed the chance to use their gifts in service to the kingdom, and praise God for the honor of serving him with our talents.”

Awards were given on the recommendation of Professor Kimberly Borst of Sinclair Community College in Dayton, who attended the performance as a respondent representing the Kennedy Center and the American College Theater Festival.

“Getting a certificate of merit resulted in me simultaneously feeling satisfied, accomplished and ridiculously excited,” Denen said. “I’ve been working really hard to get involved in theatrical productions, and for my first major involvement to be so well received is incredibly meaningful to me.”

Added Patterson, “Being the dramaturg for this production was such an interesting experience. It was very important for the cast to understand the events that led to the families going into hiding. It was also key to know who the characters were historically, along with Anne’s perception of them. I was very honored to be recognized for all of the research I compiled.”

Given the difficulty of the show, Partridge was thrilled to receive the honor.

“The show was very demanding, with around 160 cues to call each night, so I was honored to be recognized as having done my job with excellence,” she said.

Gabrielle Bauman, a senior theatre major from Springfield, and Stephen De Jong, a senior theatre major from Michigan, received Irene Ryan Acting Award nominations with Heather Lange, a senior theatre major from Florida, as an alternate.

“Nomination for the Irene Ryan is an honor,” said Bauman, who played the title role. “Working on such a serious show, I am so happy to know Anne’s joy and courageous spirit came across in an enjoyable and memorable way.”

“The Diary of Anne Frank” sold 2,441 tickets, becoming one of the best-selling Cedarville fall theatre productions in recent years.

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Xenia Daily Gazette

Story courtesy Cedarville University.

Story courtesy Cedarville University.