“Dramaturgy is a branch of the theatrical arts which involves bringing productions to life on the stage.”That is exactly what West Chester University student, Briana Choynowski has done. Choynowski, a junior theater student and Professor Leonard Kelly have been chosen as recipients and finalists for scholarships at the KCACTF (Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival).
Theater professor Kelly has been recognized for his exceptional teaching efforts by receiving a faculty fellowship where he will be able to mentor students who have received scholarships from KCACTF. Briana has been selected among other college theatre students to display her talents at the Kennedy Center.
Participants are given the opportunity to take classes with many people that are famous in their field of work. The KCACTF national festival will be taking place from April 13-17.
Choynowski, a theater major with a concentration in technical theater, was selected as one of the lucky students because of her work as dramaturg of University Theatre’s fall 2009 production, “The Rocky Horror Show.”
Choynowski is also very involved as a member of University Theatre, Editor-in-Chief of the Theatre department’s student-written newspaper, Thespian Voice, and member of Alpha Psi Omega, the theater honor society. She is also co-director of the 28th Annual High School Theatre Festival to be held at WCU.
So what drew Briana to WCU’s theatre department?
“I really liked the community that the theatre department has created among the students,” she said.
“I enjoyed the atmosphere as soon as I walked into the department on a tour, the professors being so approachable and helpful, wanting you to succeed.”
She mentions Professor Leonard Kelly and Dr. Harvey Rovine as some of the best professors she has encountered so far.
“I’ve been inspired by so many playwrights, actors, directors, and designers that I don’t think I can pinpoint just a few, I think the theatre community is something I’ve always aspired to be a part of.”
Choynowski also mentions that it was the faculty as WCU that encouraged her to present her work with dramaturgy to KCACTF. She also attributes some of her success to her family.
“Coming from a theatre family, it has always had a presence in my life, and I don’t think I would be the person I am today without some form of theatre in my life,” Choynowski said.
“I love the theatre community; we’re a wacky, crazy bunch of fools who love to put on a garb or mask and just become something that is besides yourself. I think through theatre we all develop a different way of looking at life and the world around us and a deeper understanding of the human condition that we would not learn otherwise.”
Angela Thomas is a third year student majoring in English and minoring in web technology. She can be reached at AT683005@wcupa.edu.