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 Theatre major wins regional American College Festival award 




February 5, 2009

Contact: K.E. Schwab  




Theatre major wins regional American College Festival award


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Just the right amount of makeup, the proper hair style and suddenly a star is born, especially if award-winning makeup artist Kelly McBane, a Slippery Rock University theater major from Pittsburgh, is handing your look.

            McBane recently won the regional American College Theater Festival Award for Theatrical Makeup Design.

            She will complete in April for the national award in Washington, D.C., sponsored by Alcone Makeup and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Eight students from across the U.S. will vie for the top honor.

            "It is really exciting," said McBane. She will take samples of her work from last spring's SRU production of Shakespeare's "Macbeth" to the all-expense paid competition. 

            "I have to build a display, including drawings, photos and other samples of my work to present to a panel of judges," she said. The samples will include a severed head she created for the production. Designs were appraised on quality, effectiveness, originality and rendering techniques.

             "Kelly has been tremendous," said Rebecca Morrice, assistant professor of theatre, who has worked with McBane during her four years as an SRU student. "It is always exciting to see one of our students vie for one of the top national awards at the Kennedy Center. Kelly has done makeup, hair design and costuming since arriving at SRU, and she has constantly improved her abilities and talents. She has worked hard and has a great future ahead of her."

            McBane, who plans to graduate in May, said she initially came to SRU as a journalism major, but got involve in a theatre production her first semester. "I have always loved theatre my whole life. As soon as I got involved, I changed my major to theater. I don't like acting, but I like the backstage work in hair, makeup and costumes."

            "For Macbeth, I had to make up 16 characters. It was hectic. Of course, I had to have help, but I had to come up with the look of each cast member. One woman in the cast had to be painted entirely blue. Others had simpler makeup - highlights and shadows."

            Before her Washington trip, McBane will handle makeup designs for the large cast in SRU's upcoming production of "Cabaret." "The musical is a period piece from the '20s and '30s, so that means there is a lot of specialized hairstyle work. And, there are a number of, shall we call them 'Cabaret girls," who will need very special makeup to help them carry their roles," McBane said.

            SRU graduate Michelle "Mickey" Cruikshank from Ohio Township, won two make-up design awards in the 2006 regional competition.


Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.

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