BCC drama students, stage production honored by Kennedy Center

The Washington, D.C.-based John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has awarded Certificates of Merit to four Bellevue Community College drama students.

The Center also selected BCC’s production of the play, “7 Minutes to Midnight,” by BCC instructor and professional playwright/director Dennis Schebetta, to be performed at the Center’s American College Theatre Region VII Festival Feb. 16-20.

“7 Minutes to Midnight” will be performed for the public Feb. 13 in BCC’s Carlson Theatre, as a benefit to fund the trip to Moscow, Idaho, to attend the Festival.

Community college students and productions are rarely included in Kennedy Center recognition, which honors the best at all graduate and undergraduate theater programs in seven states: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Alaska.

The individual students honored were:

• Cady Smola, of Bellevue, home-schooled, honored for her authorship of the play, The Empty Room.

• Amy Balazs, of Redmond (a graduate of an out-of-state high school), recognized for her work in directing the play, “Outcome.”

• Kirin Waitek, of Renton, a Hazen High School graduate, honored for her direction of the play, “Neck Punch City.”

• Zack Smith, of Renton, a graduate of Hazen High School, recognized for his direction of Smola’s play.

“7 Minutes to Midnight” is a “devised drama,” in which the actors participate in the play’s creation by researching and designing many elements of the work.

The play is being similarly performed at many colleges and universities across the country.

The Feb. 13 performance at BCC begins at 7:30 p.m. in Carlson Theatre, which is located in the E Building on the college’s main campus (3000 Landerholm Circle S.E., Bellevue, at the intersection of S.E. 28th St. and 148th Ave. S.E.).

All tickets, at $10, are available at the door.

The “7 Minutes to Midnight” cast includes:

• Sean Altuna, of Bellevue, a graduate of a South Carolina high school.

• Clare Honn, of Bellevue, a graduate of Sammamish High School.

• Nate Jensen, of University Place, a Curtis High School graduate.

• Kelsey Maher, of Renton , a graduate of Seattle Christian School.

• Brittany Reinholz, of Seattle, a graduate of Kennedy High School.

• Zack Smith, of Renton, a Hazen High School graduate.

• Cady Smola, of Bellevue, a homeschooled student.

• Chris Trover, of Renton, a Renton High School graduate.

The play centers around the symbolic “Doomsday Clock” created in 1947 and set to seven minutes to midnight as a warning of the potential for ultimate destruction posed by the development of the atom bomb.