Congratulations to Combined Theatre Scholarship Winners!


Three young theatrical artists in Grand Rapids awarded $6,000 in Combined Theatre Scholarships

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Three scholarships worth $6,000 were presented to area theater students last week during Festival of Arts.

The Combined Theatre Scholarship program, managed through the Grand Rapids Foundation, annually awards three scholarships, selected by a committee representing Actors’ Theatre, Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, Circle Theatre, Jewish Theatre, Heritage Theatre Group and Broadway Grand Rapids.

The three 2013 Combined Theatre Scholarship winners are Brooke Bruce Purnell, Daniel Orris Jr., and L. William Vicari.

Each will receive a $2,000 scholarship.

The annual Grand Awards, recognizing outstanding achievement in Grand Rapids-area community theater, helps raise money for the Combined Theatre Scholarship Fund for high school and college students.

The 2013 winners are:

• Daniel Orris Jr., of Kentwood, awarded the David and Emma Nicolette Scholarship, has appeared as Billy Robins in “An American Daughter” and Simcha Grubrnik in “The Last Laugh,” both with Jewish Theatre of Grand Rapids. But most of the Aquinas College student’s work in community and college theatre has been on deck crews or as light board or sound board operators for productions including “Reckless” at Aquinas College, “A Steady Rain” for Actors’ Theatre, and “See How They Run” for Circle Theatre among others.

• Brook Bruce Purnell, of Grand Rapids, awarded the Norma Brink Scholarship, has worked backstage in Circle Theatre’s production of “Treasure Island,” Jewish Theatre’s production of “My Name is Asher Lev,” and Civic Theatre’s production of “Fame: The Musical.”

But the student at Aquinas College has starred as Agnes in Heritage Theatre’s production of “School for Wives” and as Karen in Grand Rapids Community College’s production of “For Better” as well as in ensemble casts for Civic Theatre’s production of “James and the Giant Peach” and in Aquinas College productions of “Chicago: The Musical” and “Amadeus.”

• Will Vicari, awarded the Grand Award Scholarship, first appeared as a street urchin in Opera Grand Rapids’ production of “La Boheme” in 2004 and has since appeared in the children’s ensemble of the national tour of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” presented by Broadway Grand Rapids, in 2005.

The student at Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School also has played Kurt in Grand Rapids Civic Theatre’s 2007 production of “The Sound of Music,” in the ensemble of Circle Theatre’s 2010 production of “Annie,” and as the Ghost of Christmas Past in Civic Theatre’s 2012 production of “A Christmas Carol.”

But his primary interest is in design and production, especially wig and makeup design, working on over 20 area productions since 2010 including for “How to Succeed in Business” and “Ain’t Misbehavin” with Circle Theatre, “The Magic Flute” for Opera Grand Rapids, and “Hairspray,” “Night of the Living Dead” and “The Wizard of Oz” for Civic Theatre.

The three winners were acknowledged Saturday, June 8, 2013 on the Calder Stage during Festival of the Arts. They’ll be recognized again at the 17th annual Grand Awards, which will be held in the fall.

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