Break a Leg: GCC Students Nominated for Scholarship

From performing Chekhov to reinterpreting Shakespeare on the big stage and small stage, the Glendale Community College’s theater production has once again been selected to compete for the Irene Ryan Scholarship at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, or KCACTF.

Nikko Haller, theater arts major, is nominated for his portrayal of Lopakhin in the GCC’s Spring 2017 production of “The Cherry Orchard.” This is Haller’s second nomination for the Irene Ryan Scholarship. His first nomination was for playing The Clown in “Elephant’s Graveyard.” Haller plans to continue as professional actor in theater and film.

Haller noted that winning isn’t everything.  “There are scouts from all over the place,” he said. “Last year even Cirque Du Soleil was there. So even if you don’t move on to nationals you still have a chance to get noticed and picked up by someone.” He elaborated that even outside of the scouts the nominees will be exposed to actors from four-year colleges. Being around these actors could help pick the school they’d like to transfer to. Haller added “you also get tickets to a lot of shows. That’s cool.”

Josh Adam got nominated for playing Howard in “Bench Dogs,” a short play which was part of the Spring 2017 Ten Minutes Play Festival. This is his first nomination. He stated that there are eight regional competitions; GCC is in the eighth region. If Adam and his acting companions win the regionals they get $500 and a chance to move to the national competition. The winners of the nationals get a $2,500 scholarship. Adam and Haller both stated that even if they don’t win nationals, the fact that they participate and are given a good chance to network with the people who matter is extremely valuable.

Paula Hantower, a theatre arts major, is going to the KCACTF for the first time also. She got her nomination for playing the Daughter in the “Enemies of the Hospital” during the spring 2017 Ten Minute Play Festival. In 2016, Hantower left her home in Sao Paulo, Brazil and moved to Los Angeles. She took part in many productions in Brazil. Hantower said it was always her dream to come to the US and make it big. If her nomination isn’t enough of a sign that she’s on the right track to succeeding, Hantower also got the starring rolls of Viola and Cesario in the fall 2017 GCC production of “Twelfth Night.” She expressed excitement about the competition and said she hopes to win while having fun.

Caesar Ceralde is also competing to win the Irene Ryan Scholarship. He received his first nomination during the spring 2017 One Act Play Festival for the role of Charlie the Seagull in “Biodegradable Seagulls.” Ceralde was surprised when Jeanette Farr offered him this roll in the play since he never auditioned for it. However, Farr had noticed his performance in the 2016 “Motel Plays” and she decided that he was perfect for the roll.

Ceralde wanted to thank Anthony Leyva for pushing others to give him a roll in the “Motel Plays.” He also wants to thank Ed Douglas for mentoring and coaching him to be ready for the KCACTFs. Ceralde has finished his theater arts major and is considering a major in journalism.

Francisco Macedo, theater arts major, is nominated for the first time for playing the Fool in the fall 2017 production of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.” Macedo said he has been working hard as an actor for five years. Macedo explains his performance as “living in the moment, as another creature.” He he hopes that “we [GCC] can show what we can do to everyone.”

Logan Spahitz is also nominated for the first time for his role as Camper No. 4 in “Beach Dogs” during the spring 2017 Ten Minute Play Festival. Spahitz hopes to take advantage of everything that occurs during the competition. He states that GCC has never gone past the first round of the tryouts. He hopes to make it farther with everyone this time around. Macedo and Spahitz are both planning to impress the recruitment staff. Spahitz has a degree in criminal justice from San Diego State University and is working towards a theater arts major in Glendale Community College.

Kano Perfors, Mariam Meliksetyan, Vincent Page, and Juliet Carti are also nominated for the Irene Ryan Scholarship.

Hayk Rostomyan can be contacted at

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