Polaroid Stories Cast, Crew, Nominated for Kennedy Center Honors

Bill Doncaster | April 21, 2016
Christian Ruiz as NARCISSUS in Polaroid Stories at right, with Cassidy Bane as ECHO, left

Christian Ruiz as NARCISSUS in Polaroid Stories at right, with Cassidy Bane as ECHO, left
Image by: Rafael Jaen



They felt a social and moral responsibility to tell the stories of homeless and drug-addicted teens with truth and empathy.



UMass BAnastasya Putri, left, and Matrid Neli in Polaroid Storiesoston’s Performing Arts Department is celebrating the Theatre Arts spring production of Polaroid Stories, as members of the cast and crew are now nominees for the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.

Polaroid Stories, by Naomi Iizuka and directed by Carrie Ann Quinn, closed in April to near sell out audiences.  It’s a “risky and challenging play,” says Quinn, blending classical mythology with the visceral world of teenage runaways.

“I could not be prouder of what all the cast members accomplished,” says Quinn. “They felt a social and moral responsibility to tell the stories of homeless and drug-addicted teens with truth and empathy and they succeeded.”

Matrid Neli, who played SKINHEADboy, and Christian Ruiz, as NARCISSUS, were both nominated for the Irene Ryan Acting Award, and will compete with student actors from throughout New England and New York at the Region I KCACTF festival next January. Sabina Lindsey, as PERSEPHONE, and Caroline Clancy, as EURIDYCE, were named as alternates.

The entire cast was honored with a Certificate of Merit Award for Ensemble Acting.

Backstage members of the Polaroid Stories team nominated for KCACTF honors include Tori Moline for Make Up/Hair Design, Jennifer Elias, for Dramaturgy, and Jaime Silva, Stage Management. Joe Sheehan was given a Certificate of Merit for Props.

Faculty members were also recognized with Certificates of Merit, including Quinn for Directing, Anthony Phelps for Scenic and Lighting Design, and Rafael Jaen for Costume Design.

KCATCF is a national network of more than 600 colleges and universities, showcasing their work in the theatre and grow through outside assessment. For each production at UMass, as a KCACTF member institution, a respondent from another institution attends each production, and nominates artists for the Region I festival. There, actors, designers, dramaturgs and playwrights compete with students from 75 schools for the National KCATCF conference at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

“A certificate of merit award for the entire cast shows the strength of these 10 actors as an ensemble” says Quinn.  “The four actors chosen as Irene Ryan nominees, and the four design and management students nominated are the best of the best -- talented and amazingly hard workers. I am so proud that they will represent UMass Boston theatre in the regional festival, competing with the best from over 75 schools and universities in Region I.”

Among last year’s numerous UMass Boston nominees to Region I, Christy Choi moved on to the National festival for her lighting design for the fall production of Museum by Tina Howe.

Tags: acting , arts , kennedy center american college theater festival , performance , performing arts , performing arts department , polaroid stories , theater , theatre

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