March 16, 2004
CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456 or mstepanovich@csub.edu

By Olesya Demchuk,

Public Affairs Intern

Matt Lindsay, a senior majoring in theatre at California State University, Bakersfield, has been selected as one of the winners at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF), and has won an Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship.

Since 1972, the Irene Ryan Foundation of Encino, founded by actress Irene Ryan, has awarded scholarships to the outstanding student performers at each regional festival. The country is divided into eight regions where two regional winners are awarded a $500 scholarship along with their acting partners. The KCACTF winners also go to Washington, D.C., to take part in an “Evening of Scenes” during the KCACTF national festival.

The “Evening of Scenes” presentations are viewed by leading directors, producers, and casting agents. Two student performers are awarded an additional $2,500 in scholarships, which go directly to the institution where the winners study. Lindsay is one of the two $500 winners from region eight, which includes California, Nevada, Arizona, and Hawaii.

“This was my second entrance to the KCATCF,” Lindsay said. “Last year I was a semi – finalist, and the time I spent being among the participants and the judges gave me so much. I learned a lot just taking part in the competition.”

Anita Dupratt, chair of the Theatre Department at CSUB, said Lindsay’s award is a big honor for the department, as CSUB is not well known among colleges and universities from the perspective of theatre performers.

“That’s very exciting for us,” Dupratt said. “This is the first time that a student from CSUB was awarded such an honorable prize. Of course, this is not the first time students have taken part in the competition, but this is the first time there is a winner.”

Each participant is required to present a scene from a play and a monologue.

“Among the things that I learned from last year was the importance of being prepared, i.e. to take exactly the right material in order to represent myself in the best way,” Lindsay said. “It’s also very important to choose the right partner.”

This year Lindsay’s audition piece was from “Oleanna” by David Mamet, and his monologue was from “Volpone,” by Ben Johnson. CSUB theatre-major Megan Darmofal was his acting partner.

Lindsay said it’s also important that the piece the actor presents is age-appropriate.

“I think, one of the reasons we succeeded is that we fit the age range,” Lindsay said. “The piece from the play we presented with Megan was about a college professor and a student. Megan is 20, that’s exactly the age of the heroine; I’m 33, so there is a slight difference between my age and that of the professor.”

The next stage for Lindsay is going to Washington, D.C., to be among the 16 finalists to compete for the two $2,500 scholarships. He’ll present the same pieces as he did in the previous competition.

“I think Matt has already won,” Dupratt said. “I mean, he’ll have a wonderful opportunity to attend different workshops, master classes, meetings, so he’ll become more professional at what he does. One more important thing is that all the traveling and living expenses are paid by the organizers, and going to Washington, D.C., alone is a great prize.”

Lindsay is proud of his accomplishments. “Representing CSUB is a big honor for me,” he said. “The winners always were from different schools: San Bernandino, Fullerton, I mean those schools that have a big name. And I’m not from the school that normally wins; I’m from the school that will be presented on such a high level for the first time, and I’ll do my best at it.”