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Four UNH students nominated for Kennedy Center Theater Festival Awards

Release Date:
5/17/2012 9:00 PM

May 17, 2012

WEST HAVEN, CONN.  – Four University of New Haven students who starred in the recent theater production of “Little Shop of Horrors” have been nominated for the Kennedy Center American College theater Festival Region 1 Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship.

Tyler Prigionieri, of Wolcott, Conn., a sophomore studying film, TV production and theater, who played Seymour; and David Ransbottom, of Newburgh, NY, a sophomore studying music and sound recording, who played Mushnik, received the nominations for the Ryan award. 

Devena Smith, of Waterbury, a sophomore double majoring in business management and music who played Ronnette; and James Zap, of Ridgefield, Conn., a junior studying music and sound recording, who played Orin, were nominated as alternates. 

"Little Shop of Horrors" by Howard Ashman was one of the longest-running off-Broadway shows of all time.  A spoof of 1950s sci-fi movies, the play focuses on a down-and out skid row floral assistant who becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers an exotic plant with a mysterious craving for fresh blood.  Soon, the plant grows into an ill-tempered, foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore who offers him fame and fortune in exchange for feeding its growing appetite. 

UNH presented the play on campus April 25-29.

The University of New Haven is a private, top-tier comprehensive institution recognized as a national leader in experiential education. Founded in 1920 on the campus of Yale University in cooperation with Northeastern University, UNH moved to its current West Haven campus in 1960. The University provides its students with a unique combination of a solid liberal arts education and real-world, hands-on career and research opportunities. UNH enrolls approximately 6,400 students, including nearly 1,800 graduate students and more than 4,600 undergraduates – the majority of whom reside in University housing. Through its College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, Tagliatela College of Engineering, and University College, UNH offers 75 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. UNH students have access to more than 50 study abroad programs worldwide and its student-athletes compete in 16 varsity sports in the NCAA Division II’s highly competitive Northeast-10 Conference.