theater students at festival
Photo by Kennedy Theatre.

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Department of Theatre and Dance students attended the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Oregon to showcase their artistic work and enter in competitions.

Below are UH Mānoa students who won awards and participated in the competitions.

Award winners:

  • Improv Olympics: Emily Steward, Dylan Chace Lee, Qalil Ismail, Jonah Bobilin, Malia Wessel and Tyler J. Haugen won first place in short-form improv.
  • Tech Olympics: Dylan Chace Lee, Qalil Ismail, Jonah Bobilin, Mike Poblete and Jorin Young won second place for technical theater challenges.
  • SDC directing initiative: Kat Altman, Malia Wessel, Annastasia Fiala-Watkins and Emily Steward won regionally and will move on to compete in the national competition in April.


  • Irene Ryan competition: Malia Wessel, KoDee Martin, Michelle Huynh and Dean Mo
  • Musical theater scholarship auditions: Jorin Young
  • The national devising theater project: Keola Simpson, Jorin Young, Yunshan Feng, Melisa Orozco Vargas, Robert Sanchez, Annastasia Fiala-Watkins, Michelle Huynh, Dean Mo, Thea Wigglesworth and Mike Poblete
  • John Cauble Award for Outstanding Short Play (one act): Malia Wessel, Tyler J. Haugen, KoDee Martin, Dylan Chace Lee, Nick Brown, Annastasia Fiala-Watkins, Mike Poblete, Qalil Ismail, Jorin Young, Hulita Drake, Kela Neil, Catherine Restivo, Michelle Huynh and Alten Kiakona
  • Next step auditions: KoDee Martin, Qalil Ismail, Malia Wessel and Dylan Chace Lee
  • Spotlight invitational scene: Mark Branner, Donovan Oakleaf, Melisa Orozco Vargas, Raquel Palisbo, Keola Simpson, Michelle Huynh, Yunshan Feng and Yang Xi

Read more about each competition at UH Mānoa’s Department of Theatre and Dance.