Lander Students Place Big at South Carolina Speech and Theatre College Festival
Story by Graham Duncan
Students from Lander University joined their peers from five other South Carolina institutions for the annual South Carolina Speech and Theatre Association (SCSTA) College Festival, hosted by the Lander University Department of Media and Communication on the University’s Greenwood campus Saturday, Apr. 2.
“It has been two years since SCSTA had an in-person festival,” said Monique Sacay-Bagwell, professor of speech and theatre and chair of the Department of Media and Communication at Lander. “COVID is still impacting many organizations. Because of these circumstances, the stakes felt higher this year. I went into this with great expectations and I am happy to report, due to all of the support from different departments on campus, SCSTA 2022 was a success.”
Six Lander University students competed in several of the festival’s events, which according to Sacay-Bagwell was more participation from Lander students than in previous years. Such hard work from Lander students payed off, garnering major awards from the festival.
Bianca Booher, of Bloomington, Ind., took home first place in both the Audition Monologues and the Informative Speaking events. Booher also won the SCSTA’s highest and most coveted award, the Triathlon Award, which according to the SCSTA, is given to one student who entered at least one event in each of the festival’s three categories (Speech, Theatre and Performance) and who earned the highest total combined score. Booher was one of six qualifying students for the award.
Meanwhile Brandon Blankenship, of Gilbert, received first place in the TV Broadcasting category. Jadyn Sopha, of Irmo, placed third in the Storytelling category and second in the TV Broadcasting category.
It was also announced that Lander will serve as the host campus for the SCSTA Festival in 2023, and Sacay-Bagwell hopes Lander will replicate the high level of student involvement next year. “I am very proud of our students’ hard work and commitment,” Sacay-Bagwell said. “Based on this year’s results, and the cooperation of so many individuals from across our campus, I am confident we will have an even more successful SCSTA College Festival in 2023.”