Lauren Stanfield, left, and Elizabeth Jaegle

Lincoln College, Lincolnite actresses gain spotlight for Irene Ryan scholarship tryout

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[April 17, 2013]  When Professor Kenneth Kendall selected the play "The Trojan Women" for Lincoln College's spring production, he knew the content and dialog of the ancient play would present challenges to his actors and technical personnel. The show presented in February required Kendall to inspire his cast and crew to reach new levels of expertise to pull it off.

If you saw the show during its run, you were treated to college theater at its best. And now, that is not just the opinion of audience members. Lincoln College has received notice that two of the actresses who appeared in "The Trojan Women" have been nominated for a national college acting award.

Prior to the performance, Kendall contacted the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Washington, D.C., to send a representative to judge the show. Jenni Passig from Eastern Illinois University attended and awarded nominations for the prestigious Irene Ryan Foundation scholarships to cast members Elizabeth Jaegle and Lauren Stanfield.

Jaegle played Cassandra and Stanfield portrayed Hecuba in the technically demanding play. Both actresses are Lincoln residents, graduates of Lincoln Community High School and in their freshman year at Lincoln College.

Stanfield is enrolled in the Lincoln College baccalaureate program in performing arts. Her intention is to pursue a career in acting.

"'Trojan Women' was a challenge to me," Stanfield said. "The tragedy portrayed in the play was outside my comfort zone."

Jaegle is enrolled in the LC general education program and is interested in pursuing a career in animation.

"'Trojan Women' was overwhelming," Jaegle said, "especially getting the pronunciations in the dialog correct." Her normally upbeat personality had to be set aside to become immersed in the tragedy and horror of war.

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The Irene Ryan Foundation was created by actress Irene Ryan. Ryan, while best known for her portrayal of Granny on the television show "The Beverly Hillbillies," had a long and distinguished career in television, cinema and the stage. The Irene Ryan Foundation has awarded scholarships to outstanding student performers since 1972. Upon winning the scholarship, the student may use it to pursue any degree at a university or college, not just theater.

Stanfield and Jaegle have been nominated for the Ryan Scholarship in Region III of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. In January 2014 they will travel to Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan to compete in the regional finals. Each will be given five minutes to present a monologue and perform a scene with an acting partner of their choice. Winners of the regional competition will then participate in the national competition in Washington, D.C.

The Irene Ryan Foundation nominations for Jaegle and Stanfield are affirmation of their acting accomplishments. Even more, the nominations show the esteem in which the Lincoln College theater program is held in the college theater world.


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