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Student Wins At National Theatre Festival
By Karyn Nelson
UW-RF News Bureau

Moria Clinton, a senior from River Falls majoring in theatre and art at UW-River Falls, was recently named Outstanding Costume Designer at the American College Theatre Festival national conference in Washington, D.C. The conference was held at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.

Clinton entered her costumes from the fall 2002 University production of "Scapino!" The play is a modern adaptation of the play, "The Cheats (or Tricks) of Scapin," which is based on the traditions of commedia del'arte, an improvisational free-form theatrical tradition that introduced popular slapstick comedy.

She used style elements from the 1970s as a base for the commedia clown-like characters, combining character ideals and costume pieces with 1970-style prints and fabrics such as vinyl to create her award-winning costumes.

Earlier this year, Clinton won the Region 3 Costume Design Competition for the American College Theatre Festival. The regional award is the first for a UW-RF student.

At the national competition, Clinton competed against seven other regional winners from University of Nebraska, Southern Methodist University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Boston College, SUNY-Buffalo, Utah State University and Western Washington University. The eight finalists took master classes from a nationally-known designer while at the convention.

UW-RF Theatre Professor Robin Murray, who is Clinton's mentor, accompanied her to the competition.

"The national recognition will open doors for Clinton as she prepares for her future as a costume designer," said Murray.

"Moria will have the opportunity to show her portfolio to a number of costume designers at graduate schools around the nation. She will be able to get interviews at more schools as she looks for the graduate program in costume design that is right for her."

UW-RF College of Arts and Sciences Dean Gorden Hedahl directed the production of "Scapino!"

"The theatre department was very proud of the fact that Moria won at the regional competition and was invited to the national festival, but this recognition is a major accomplishment," said Hedahl. "Clinton's award has pushed UW-RF into a national spotlight," said Murray. "It has brought the theatre program national recognition."

"Moria's win shows that UW-RF's smaller theatre program can offer our undergraduates opportunities that undergrads in larger programs usually do not have, because our smaller numbers translate into more personal interaction."

"I am proud of the way she represented UW-RF in all aspects of the competition. I know she will be successful as she pursues her goals in costume design."


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