Nick Klissiaris, Luke Sorge and Tayla Ealom in a scene from Neil LaBute's The Distance From Here, directed by Felicia Marti

Superb directing of a powerful, thought-provoking scene from Neil LaBute’s provocative play, “The Distance From Here” has turned a College of Arts & Media Theatre, Film & Video Production senior student at the University of Colorado Denver into a Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival region winner. Felicia Marti will be honored for her accomplished directing skills at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, held April 14-18, in Washington, D.C.

Each of the eight regions of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival national organization, created to celebrate the educational and creative process of university and college theatre, holds an annual national festival at which students are awarded fellowships and scholarships. The top student in each area is selected to represent the region in Washington in April. This year’s national competition for directing is new—it is heavily detailed in the preparation requirements, and its focus on process makes for comprehensive and rigorous evaluation standards. Of the students nominated for the competition, only 11 were selected to compete at the regional festival and six moved on to the final round.

Marti was chosen to represent Region 7, which includes Colorado, Alaska, N. California, Idaho, Montana, N. Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming, with a five minute scene. Marti chose LaBute’s “The Distance From Here” from five production options because, according to Marti, “the play is just outrageous and represents issues that are very compelling and important to today’s society.”

“It is an extraordinary achievement for this young woman,” said Marti’s mentor Laura Cuetara, a UC Denver College of Arts & Media associate professor of Theatre, Film & Video Production. “Perhaps what was most extraordinary was that her sense of delight and enthusiasm throughout the very tough process enabled her to fully seize the many learning opportunities of the experience—as did the three actors who traveled to Idaho with her.”

Marti will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the Kennedy Center to receive her award and a fellowship to participate in the national festival week. Marti says she is living proof of the College of Arts & Media’s mission statement: Art Changing Lives.

Celebrating its 10th Anniversary in 2008-09, the College of Arts & Media (CAM) at the University of Colorado Denver embraces the influence of modern trends on traditional art forms. Located on UC Denver’s downtown campus, CAM is at the heart of Denver’s thriving, dynamic arts community. The college encourages its students to discover new artistic forms, explore creative applications of technology, and prepare themselves for careers in the current and emergent culture industry. CAM is one of 13 schools and colleges at UC Denver. The University offers more than 100 degrees and serves more than 28,000 students in Metro Denver and online. For additional news and information, please visit the UC Denver newsroom.

Tayla Ealom, Felicia Marti, Nick Klissiaris, Laura Cuetara and Luke Sorge



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