Sarah HarwoodA Cuesta College theater student won a makeup design award at Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival’s regional competition for colleges in the western United States.

Sarah Harwood, a San Luis Obispo resident who graduated from Morro Bay High, earned the Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas One-Week Internship Award for her contributions to Cuesta Drama Department’s fall production of “The Snow Queen.”

The award honors a student who displays potential for future success and would benefit from a week at Stagecraft Institute, an 8-week intensive training program that uses state-of-the-art live entertainment productions in Las Vegas as a learning lab to train the next generation of working theatrical professionals.

“Sarah was an acting student of mine 10 years ago,” said drama instructor bree valle. “She went away and trained at the Margolis Brown Adaptors Company, a very high-profile training program on the East Coast. She has always has been doing makeup, special effects makeup and worked on a couple of films. For ‘The Snow Queen’ she focused on makeup.”

Harwood was among six Cuesta students who attended the regional competition held Feb. 13-16 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center and returned with scholarships or job offers. KCACTF’s Region VIII includes colleges and universities in California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and Hawaii.

Kyle Doust, 30, was also recognized for his work on “The Snow Queen.” The Los Osos resident was named a finalist in Theatrical Design Excellence in Scenery category that provides student designers feedback from professionals working in the field.

Three student actors who performed in last spring’s production of “The Three Musketeers” were invited to compete for scholarships.

Greg Thelkeld and Chris Kamas received scholarships to California State University Summer Institute in Stage Combat, while Nik Johnson got a job offer to perform with the Missoula Children’s Theatre in Montana after successful auditions.

In addition, Kate Sachen, a graduate of Nipomo High School, received a job offer to act at the Neil Simon Festival in Cedar City, Utah, following an open-call audition.

“We are very proud of our students and faculty for promoting excellence,” valle said. “Our showing at the competition says that we provide some of the best training available, and that our program is aligned with some of the best, well-funded programs in the nation.”

The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival is a national program dedicated to the improvement of collegiate theater in the United States. Focused on the celebration of diverse and exciting theater, the organization involves more than 18,000 students at over 600 colleges and universities in eight regions of the nation.



Jay Thompson | (805) 546-3100, ext. 2636 | Email: jay_thompson@cuesta.edu | Posted March 1, 2013