University of Wisconsin-River Falls

News Source

May 7, 2004


UW-River Falls Student Wins Theatre Award

Moria Clinton, a senior with a double major in theatre and art and a minor in costume technologies, won the Mehron and Makeup Designory Award at the 2004 American College Theatre Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

This prestigious award comes one year after Clinton won the Barbizon Excellence in Costume Design Award at the 2003 American College Theatre Festival.

An undergraduate from River Falls, Wis., Clinton competed against many students who are in the process of completing graduate degrees.

"UW-RF allows for great exchange programs where I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to go on exchange three times," said Clinton, "I have been able to open my education up to influences from a greater range of life expanding experiences."

Clinton enjoys the collaboration of all the traditional arts in theater. "What draws me to theatre is that it combines all the arts, painting, sculpture, textiles, architecture, performance, music, literature and so on. When all of these elements are combined in the right harmony and balance, theatre becomes what I believe can touch each of us on a most personal level. Through my passion as a designer I get to help tell stories about the human condition."

Dean of the College of Arts and Science Gorden Hedahl said Clinton's success is in part a reflection of the theater program at UW-RF.

"This award is a wonderful indication of the quality of the education and the quality of students that we have at UW-RF and in the College of Arts and Sciences," said Hedahl. "Moria is an exceptionally talented individual with a very creative vision and an ability to accomplish and execute her artistic ideas."

Last week Clinton was presented with a special joint resolution of commendation from the Wisconsin Senate and Wisconsin Assembly to recognize her signal achievement. It was presented by State Sen. Sheila Harsdorf and State Rep. Kitty Rhoades during a discussion program preceding an on-going play at UW-RF for which Clinton did the costumery.

Theatre arts professor Robin Murray is proud of her student and the recognition it brings.

"Moria is a joy to work with, not just because she is talented, but more importantly because she is passionately committed to excellent theatre, is tenacious and understands the importance of collaboration in the theatrical world," said Murray. "This is very prestigious award and her win last year attracted some new people to our theatre program. This will give us the opportunity to build on her success, attracting more students into the theatrical design field."

Clinton obtained her skills over several years by working hard and taking advantage of every possible theatre opportunity. She took all costume courses UW-RF had to offer and worked in the costume shop. Then she spent two different semesters on a national student exchange at Humbolt University. There she took courses in millnary and mask-making. She interned at the Utah Shakespeare Festival and the Santa Fe Opera.

Clinton will return this summer to the Santa Fe Opera for a third year. After that she'll go to New York to visit Mehron's Make-up studios, followed by a trip to Los Angeles to attend the Make-up Designory, a school for advance training in make-up design. She plans on attending graduate school in costume design in fall 2005.

Hedahl said, "Her success here also provides a clear validation of the quality of the theatre program at UW-RF. There is a strong history of teaching and theatrical production on our campus, but the theatre major was only approved by the UW System in 2002. These awards help to provide evidence to the entire country of the high quality of our program.

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