SRJC Acting Nominee Proceeds to Semi-Finals


Nadav Soroker

Paige Picard receives news that she passed into the semi-finals of the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship outside the American River College Theater.

Nadav Soroker, Co-editor in chief

Irene Ryan Nominee Paige Picard is preparing to move to the semi-final round of the Irene Ryan Region VII Scholaship Audition.
One of seven nominees from the Santa Rosa Junior College, Picard and partner Kayla Kearney are the only ones advancing. The rest of the nominees are helping support them and are eager to see them progress. In the semi-final round of the Region VII auditions, 32 out of the original 225 nominees remain.
The Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship is a program that helps aspiring student actors pursue college. Each year the scholarship provides $500 to regional finalists which is disbursed through a school of their choice. In addition regional finalists can compete for a $3000 scholarship at the National Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.
Picard competed in the primary auditions with Kearney performing a piece from “Obligatory Scene” by Carolyn Gage. The short scene they chose starred Picard and Kearney as a lesbian couple arguing about sexuality¬† in their relationship. The two worked well with Picard’s very funny, very sexual character contrasting starkly with Kearney’s sexually apathetic character. The piece was almost more impressive to those who already knew the duo as Kearney had recently twisted her knee and spent her time off stage on crutches.
Picard chose the scene after finding out about her nomination. She googled “scenes for lesbian actors” and found Carolyn Gage, a writer known for very strong female characters which is what she wanted. Picard specifically wanted a lesbian scene as she wanted to do a relationship scene but didn’t want to work with a male actor. The two worked hard on the scene and after their performance Monday evening let themselves relax, especially with the small chances of actually passing into the semi-finals.
It wasn’t until Tuesday evening when Picard was watching a performance of Spring Awakening that the list of semi-finalists was posted. Kearney, who had attended a set of invited scenes and gotten out earlier, lay in wait, bouncing around on her crutches outside of the theater. When Picard exited she found her partner hobbling across the pavement in excitement about the announcement. After talking to her partner she was also warmly received and congratulated by her fellow SRJC nominees, partners and students who were all bubbly and excited for her success.
“It was the happiest I have felt in a really, really, long time.” Picard said.
Now the pair are moving onto their second scene. They will be performing a scene from “Impossible Marriage” by Beth Henley, which was not originally what they were planning on. “Two weeks before the festival we switched our second scene, cause it just wasn’t working for us,” Picard said. Despite this they are confident about their performance, especially with the support they have gotten from the faculty. The two spent Wednesday evening rehearsing their scene to perfect it for the Thursday performance.
Picard will perform her semi-final audition in Round 1 at 9 a.m. Thursday morning. She also really stressed just how thankful she was to her partner for working with her and helping her all this way. If she passes the semi-finals she will qualify for the final round Friday evening.
SRJC Nominee and Semi-Finalist Paige Picard (Left) recieves a hug and congratulations from fellow nominee Angela Monique.
SRJC Nominee and Semi-Finalist Paige Picard (Left) recieves a hug and congratulations from fellow nominee Angela Monique.