Drama students compete in monologue competition for scholarship money


Donors of the Sara Smith and Phyllis Mailes Scholarship stand with the City College scholarship winners. From left to right: Anne Towbes, Janae Swenson, Samantha Corn, Maris Oliveira, Ashley Lemmex, JT Torre, Sanna Forsen, Cathryn Betz, Mimmi Paulsen, Tim Whitcomb.

Justine Young, Staff Writer

The theater arts department awarded 11 students $1,000 each in scholarship money after a rigorous monologue competition on Tuesday, Nov. 13.

The Sara Evelyn Smith Scholarships in Theatre Arts participated in the competition along with Smith’s daughter, Anne Towbes, and Tim Whitcomb, the founder of Happy Destiny Productions.

Samantha Corn, Sanna Forsen, Etain Hiller, Ashley Lemmex, Noah Nevins, Mimmi Paulsén, Breann Piantanida, Janae Swenson, Jean Toussaint Torre, Maria Oliveira and Cathryn Betz, all City College students, were the winners of the competition this year.

“I think the competition is a great way to encourage theater students to keep on trying,” said Forsen, who performed “The Orange” from Joyce Carol Oates’s play “I Stand Before You Naked”.

Paulsén summed up the experience as “fun, scary and totally out of their comfort zone but they were grateful for the chance to participate.” Paulsén performed a monologue from Kellie Powell’s play, “Collaboration.”

Betz, who performed “Dating” from playwright Cynthia Heimel’s “A Girl’s Guide to Chaos” felt that the competition was like auditioning for a company or show.

“The competition was very supportive. You could tell they wanted you to succeed,” said Corn, who performed a monologue from “A Chorus Line.”

Katie Laris and Michael Gros, co-chairs of the drama department, Margaret Mixsell, a theater arts instructor and Anne Towbes were the judges on the panel for the competition.

“This was a great talented group of students,” Laris said.

“It was a subjective process,” Gros said. “Each judge rated each applicant individually.”

In the event of a tie, the judges looked at the applicants’ declaration of interest and passion for theater arts to declare a winner.

The scholarship is awarded annually to City College theatre arts students who attended local high schools, maintain excellent academic achievement and demonstrate performance talent and experience.

“The judges were so welcoming and we were given such great advice from the department,” said Swenson, who performed a monologue from Kellie Powell’s “Your Money’s Worth.”

“To be able to win felt really good, especially for me, since English isn’t my first language,” said Forsen, whose first language is Swedish. “This is a great way to practice how to present yourself and a great example of how it’s going to be in the real world as a professional actor.”