Chad Bradford to compete for Irene Ryan Scholarship in Washington, D.C.

Published Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Chad Bradford, son of Charles and Kim Bradford of Little Rock, and a senior theater major at the University of Central Arkansas, has been chosen as one of two winners of the Region VI Irene Ryan Scholarship held recently during the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival at Tulsa Community College in Tulsa, Okla.

The Irene Ryan Scholarship was founded by and named after the late Irene Ryan, who is best known for her portrayal of Granny on "The Beverly Hillbillies" television show. Bradford received his nomination to attend the festival for his role as Hamlet in UCA Theatre's production of "Hamlet." He received $500 for his regional win.


Bradford and his acting partner, Doug Tyler of Conway, competed against approximately 300 students from the Region VI area to win one of the two prestigious awards. Region VI consists of colleges and universities in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas and New Mexico. They were coached by Dr. Kevin Browne, assistant professor of theater at UCA.

Bradford began his career with the Youth Theatre of Central Arkansas, a program sponsored by UCA Theatre for students in grades three through 12. He graduated from Hall High School in Little Rock and has been the recipient of a performance scholarship from UCA Theatre each semester. He has appeared in numerous productions at UCA, including "Into the Woods," "Bloody Poetry," "One Flea Spare" and "Les Liaisons Dangereuses." He is currently rehearsing for the upcoming production of "The Threepenny Opera."

Bradford has also been a recipient of the James Bridges Scholarship. Bridges was a UCA alumnus and film director, best known for directing "The China Syndrome," "The Paper Chase" and "Urban Cowboy."

Bradford is also a member of Alpha Psi Omega, the national honorary theater fraternity, and recently held a workshop performance of his original musical, "Southern Rivers."

Several other UCA Theatre students competed for the scholarship, including Heather Hooten of Conway, Lacy Dunn of North Little Rock and Taylor Galloway of Maumelle, who also placed in the top 16 finalists. Students receive nominations by faculty for their work in UCA Theatre productions during the previous year.

Three other UCA Theatre students attended the festival to exhibit their work in technical theatre. Bob Kuhn of Marion displayed his costume designs, Kellie Sorrows of Benton displayed her scene design and Alison Whitley of Conway presented her material for stage managing, all for the production of "Les Liaisons Dangereuses."

Bradford will now compete against 15 other finalists from the seven regions across the country at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., in mid-April. Two winners will be chosen at the Kennedy Center as recipients of the national scholarship.


UCA Theatre has had two students win the Region VI Irene Ryan competition and compete at the Kennedy Center. In 2000, Nisi Sturgis of Conway was chosen as one of the two national winners and has gone on to a professional acting career in New York City.


By the Log Cabin Democrat