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Nadine Purvis Schmidt Awarded KCACTF Gold Medallion

Published Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Nadine Purvis Schmidt
Nadine Purvis Schmidt

Southwest Minnesota State University Theatre Professor Nadine Purvis Schmidt has been awarded the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) Gold Medallion Recognition, the most prestigious award given by KCACTF.

There are eight KCACTF regions in the United States. SMSU is in Region 5, which includes college theatre programs in Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, North and South Dakota. Medallions honor individuals or organizations “that have made extraordinary contributions to the teaching and producing of theatre and who have significantly dedicated their time, artistry and enthusiasm to the development of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival,” according to the KCACTF website.

“It means so much to me to receive this award. Region 5 is so special to me. I think about the thousands of students and hundreds of faculty I’ve interacted with. We get to go to the festival and see people who were once our students and now are faculty in the region,” said Schmidt.

The notification from the KCACTF Region 5 stated, “The committee felt that you exemplified the values of KCACTF and wanted to recognize your tireless dedication to the festival.Recipients have demonstrated a strong commitment to the values and goals of KCACTF and to excellence in educational theatre. It is the most prestigious regional award given by KCACTF and is considered one of the great honors in theatre education. 

She will receive her medallion at the KCACTF Region 5 festival held in Des Moines, Iowa on January 22-28, 2023.

“There are some big schools in Region 5, and we [SMSU] hold our own pretty well. Our program and students have earned certificates of merit. Our students have been semifinalists and finalists for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship,” said Schmidt. “They definitely hear about Southwest Minnesota State University a lot in the region.”

“It makes me so proud that the KCACTF is all about celebrating theater, encouraging young artists, developing young actors, and advocating for theater,” she said. “Over the past few years, we have increased efforts to make sure that everything we do is welcoming, accessible, and inclusive.”

Schmidt is in her 19th year with the Theatre Program at SMSU where she is a Professor of Theatre, Producer, and Program Coordinator. She directs shows and teaches various acting and other theatre courses. Her acting credits include Prospero in The Tempest, Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, First Witch in Macbeth, and Gertrude in Hamlet, all with Bare Bodkins Theatre; Barbara in TheatreMidwest’s virtual rehearsed reading of Nickel and Dimed; and Lady in TheatreSquared’s production of Superior Donuts. For Region 5, Nadine has served as Faculty Acting Showcase coordinator since 2007 and showcase performer since 2005, a production respondent since 2005, including as a member of the selection team since 2018, and a preliminary round respondent for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Audition from 2008 to 2022. In 2020, Nadine was recognized with the Road Warrior award from KCACTF.

Schmidt has an MFA in acting from the University of Arkansas and a certificate in Shakespeare performance from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Schmidt lives in Estelline, S.D., with her husband, Karl, and their two teenagers.


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