Philip Baker and Nicole Dalton shined in the recent show presented by Seton Hall’s Theatre Council, “Wait Until Dark.” They not only won over the audience, but also won nominations for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships.
The prestigious scholarship is described on the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival’s website as “an award that provides recognition, honor, and financial assistance to outstanding student performers wishing to pursue further education.”
Baker described the scholarship as being “managed by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.” Those nominated can pursue 16 regional scholarships of $500, and two national scholarships of $3000. Baker said that “to compete for the scholarships, those nominated attend the KCATCF festival with a series of prepared scenes with a partner to showcase their acting talent.”
Even though the two were nominated, Dalton clarified that they were unfortunately not able to attend the competition, which means that neither of them will be actually winning any awards.
“I was only nominated to go to a competition and compete with nominees in our region for scholarship opportunities,” she said. Dalton said that she and Bakercould not partake in the next steps to compete for the scholarships because the timeframe was too small to effectively prepare for the award.
Baker also mentioned that SHU students Bryan Lucas, David Kalis and Nicole Lippey were nominated in Theatre Council’s recent production of “Tick, Tick… Boom!” for the same scholarship.
When asked how they were nominated, Baker said that “to receive the nomination we had a representative of the KCATCF come in to view our show.” It is an intricate process and only those among the best are even considered for a nomination.
Baker said he recognized the significance of the award
“It is a huge honor to have been nominated,” he said, “I participate in theatre because it’s fun and not really competitive, but it’s nice to know someone out there thought you did a really good job.”
Dalton agreed, expressing she was excited and honored. “I know we aren’t attending the competition, but it’s still a good feeling to have.”
Deirdre Yates, the show’s director and a professor in the Department of Communication, expressed a similar sentiment regarding the nomination.
“I am delighted by the nominations, both Nicole and Phil are very deserving of the honor, as were all the cast members,” Yates said. “It’s always great to have outside feedback to reinforce what I already knew – Seton Hall students have a tremendous amount of talent!”
When talking about future aspirations, Dalton confirmed that she will most definitely pursue acting of any kind. “I am auditioning for some programs and schools in the next month, so maybe I will keep studying. Or maybe I will just move to LA and start auditioning.”
For both actors, the doors are wide open and they are already being acknowledged for their commitment, hard work, and passion for the stage.