Scottsdale Community College Theatre Arts costume design earns top honor

Amanda Embry and Emmalaine Wright (submitted photo)

Amanda Embry and Emmalaine Wright (submitted photo)

Emmalaine Wright, a Theatre Arts student at Scottsdale Community College, received the top honor in the Costume Design category at Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, Region VIII for her work on an SCC production performed last spring.

As the top finisher in her category, she will now go on to compete in the national competition at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in April.

Ms. Wright’s work was on full display in the SCC student production “Lil’ Red,” written by SCC student Bradley Carter and directed by faculty member E.E. Moe.

Ms. Wright and her design mentor, SCC faculty member Amanda Embry, will attend the national Kennedy Center festival, where Ms. Wright will compete at the national level.

In all, 21 SCC theatre students attended the Region VIII festival in Hawaii Feb. 10-15. In the non-Realized Design category, SCC winners included Sabrina Reed for Set Design, Maria Huber (Honorable Mention) for Costume Design, and Austin Hudak for Lighting Design. Winners in the non-realized categories do not go on to nationals, according to a press release.

Ms. Wright, who received her Associate of Arts in Fine Arts last May and is taking two classes at SCC this semester, competed against students with four-year and graduate level degrees in design and technical theater.

During her visit to the nation’s capital, she will participate in workshops, meet with working professionals and collaborate with other college theater students.

“I’ve always had an interest in costume design but I’ve never pushed it before,” she stated in the press release.

Ms. Wright has performed in lead acting roles in several SCC productions prior to working backstage. With Ms. Embry’s encouragement, she now has worked on costume design in two SCC productions.

At the regional festival, Ms. Wright’s digital rendering and oral presentation skills won over the adjudicators. She will continue to tweak her presentation as she heads to the national competition.

She had originally planned to attend Arizona State University to seek an animation degree but she’s open to scholarship offers from other schools.

“We’re hoping this becomes a bridge to other opportunities,” stated Ms. Embry in the release. Ms. Embry competed in the Kennedy Center national theater festival earlier in her career.

SCC Theatre program director Randy Messersmith added Ms. Wright’s natural talents as a visual artist and her love of fashion led her to costume design.

“It is remarkable but not totally surprising that her first costume design for the production of Lil’ Red should be selected as a national finalist…I know Emmalaine will represent SCC Theatre Arts with dignity and grace,” stated Mr. Messersmith in the release.

At the regional festival, SCC students competed against other schools, including four-year and graduate-level students in design and technology categories. Region VIII includes Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Southern California, Hawaii and Guam, the release stated.

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