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Calvin Collects Grand Awards
November 8 , 2006

The Calvin Theatre Company collected five Grand Awards at the 2006 awards ceremony, held in mid-October at Circle Theatre at the Aquinas Performing Arts Center.

At the 10th annual celebration of these awards for local theatre, Calvin entered with 10 nominations, the most of any local college or university, and saw half its nominees honored with awards.

The honors are validation for an excellent theatre program say those closely connected to the company.

"We have a very high standard of production here, and I think it shows," says Calvin communication arts and sciences professor (CAS) Michael Page, who attended the awards ceremony.

He and his CAS colleague Stephanie Sandberg both were nominated for "Outstanding Direction of a College Production" with Sandberg's Disciples, besting Page-directed Arcadia.

Arcadia, in turn, won the prize for "Outstanding College Production."

As in previous years, Calvin’s student thespians garnered a number of acting honors.

Calvin junior Emily Hanna won “Outstanding Lead Actress in a College Production” for playing Rosalind in As You Like It. “She was a real standout in that,” Page said. “She brought a real energy and presence that drove the play. If you don’t have a good Rosalind in As You Like It, you might as well not do it. It’s one of the most demanding female roles in Shakespeare.”

Page also praised Senior Tabitha Folkerts, who landed “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a College Production” for her Lady Croom in Arcadia. “She brought a kind of dignity and maturity to it,” he said. “I think that’s why she won.”

Sophomore Gerard Van Halsema won “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a College Production” for his portrayal of Septimus in the same play. “The wonderful thing about him is he was natural and very believable,” Page said. “That’s very hard, especially for a young actor and particularly in a piece that demands a different accent. They all had to speak in an English accent for this.”

Page credited the Grand Awards with raising awareness of college theatre in Grand Rapids. “Early on, there was a feeling that Calvin was an isolated little enclave. I think that sense is no longer there,” he said. “Through the Grand Awards, Calvin’s theatre program-along with those of the other colleges-becomes a visible and tangible presence in the local theatre community.”

~written by marketing and communications staff writer Myrna Anderson