Stars of the stage

Katie Ryall, Most Promising Young Actor.
The experience which they have all volunteered for also allows them to represent the university and what we do

Budding actors from our University scooped a top title when they were treading the boards as part of a regional theatre competition.

Year 1 and 2 Performing Arts students participated in the All England Theatre Festival (AETF) at Art's Centre Washington, performing extracts from Arthur Miller's The Crucible and D.C.Jackson's My Romantic History.

The students were nominated in various categories and Stage two student Katie Ryall scooped the top prize of Most Promising Young Actor.

Katie said: “Performing only a short extract of a play (My Romantic History) at the festival, our group didn't expect to be as successful as we were in the awards. So, it was exciting that each individual in our group was nominated for an award, and to actually win the award for most promising actor was amazing. Working in our university groups outside of our course was so much fun - bringing home an award was just a bonus.”

Each year amateur groups from across the country enter the All England Theatre Festival (AETF) through a series of local festivals.

The first Durham and Sunderland One Act Festival, a qualifying round in the AETF event, was held for the first time at Arts Centre Washington last year and hailed as a great success.

The 2019 Festival has again attracted seven groups to perform this week, with nine varied productions all this week – comedy, drama and tragedy. The winners of this go forward to the Northern Region Semi-Final, to be held at the Arts Centre Washington on May 4 and 5.

This will bring together the winners of AETF festivals across the North. The winner from this will go forward to the All England Final in Maidenhead on June 8.

Adelle Hulsmeier, Senior Lecturer in Drama and Performing Arts at the University of Sunderland, said: “I’m delighted our students performed so well and were nominated in all categories.

“We thought this was an excellent opportunity for our students to get involved in something that was extra curricula and promoted their skills in an employability environment. The experience which they have all volunteered for also allows them to represent the university and what we do.”

The festival was adjudicated by Sue Doherty, of the internationally recognised Guild of Drama Adjudicators, who presented the awards ceremony to the winners.

The University was nominated in all categories:

Best Actor: Chris Dover, Konstantinos Delidimoudis, Joe Cooper - all nominated

Best Actress: Abigail Oliver, Danielle Kemp - all nominated

Best Supporting Role: Shawni Brewis, Leon Dunn - all nominated

Best Cameo: Jason Collins Alamanos - all nominated

Most Promising Actor: Katie Ryall, Shawni Brewis, Joe Cooper - all nominated (Katie Ryall named Winner).