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Ridgewater's 'Crimson Lake' wins American College awards

Whitney Fugleberg (Ally), left, and Kelsey Moe (Jolene), perform a scene from the award-winning "Crimson Lake" production at Ridgewater College. The two were nominated for the Irene Ryan Acting Competition at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. (Submitted photo)

The Ridgewater College Theatre Department's production of "Crimson Lake" won two awards at this year's Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in Lawrence, Kan.

The production, directed by faculty member Keith Green and written and designed by faculty member Jayme McGhan, received awards for achievement in production and playwriting.

Theater department students spent a week in mid-January at the Region 5 festival in Lawrence. They watched productions and attended workshops.

Students who worked on the production included Kelsey Moe, Whitney Fugleberg, Kandice Gorres, Heather Lorensen, Sam Lau, Ripley Bresson, Anthony Reynolds, Joshua Johnson, Troy Williams, Ian Welch and Shannon Malone.

Moe and Fugleberg also competed in the Irene Ryan Acting Competition at the festival.

The aim of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival is to identify and promote quality in college-level theater production.  Last year more than 1,300 productions were entered in the KCACTF involving more than 200,000 students nationwide.  By entering the production of "Crimson Lake," the Ridgewater College Theatre Department is sharing in the KCACTF goals to recognize, reward and celebrate the exemplary work produced in college and university theaters across the nation.

McGhan is an award-winning playwright and theater generalist from Minneapolis. He currently teaches theater at Ridgewater College in Willmar. He holds a master of fine arts in playwriting from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and is a member of The Dramatists Guild and The Playwrights Center.

Green is a graduate of Southwest Minnesota State University and the University of North Dakota. He has taught speech communication and directed/ technical directed theatre productions for 22 years, including several productions at Ridgewater and The Barn Theatre in Willmar, including "Lend Me A Tenor,"  "Little Footsteps," "The Spitfire Grill," "The Foreigner," "The Rainmaker," "The Robber Bridegroom," "The Heidi Chronicles," "And Miss Reardon Drinks A Little," and more. 

"Crimson Lake" chronicles "an old tale about a pit lake in northern Minnesota. They say the lake is cursed, haunted by the souls that died there. Ally, a state limnologist, has returned home to the Iron Range to study the water that has kept a community in fear for nearly two decades. It has been 10 years since she's been home ... 10 years since her little sister, Taylor, went missing. With the help of her two older sisters, Lacey and Jolene, Ally will reveal the terrible truth about what lies at the bottom of Crimson Lake."