Theatre Scholarship Named for Rohlfing

Terri-award.jpgThe Central Methodist University theatre department, part of the Division of Fine and Performing Arts, has announced the naming of its grand prize full-tuition scholarship, the Terri Rohlfing Theatre Arts Scholarship. The announcement occurred alongside the weekend’s opera workshop performance of The Marriage of Figaro.

The scholarship’s namesake, Terri Rohlfing, is a dedicated member of the creative team at CMU’s Little Theatre. She began designing costumes for the department in 2012 on the production of The Foreigner and worked on every production since then, 50 shows in total.

“Over the past 50 years as an educator, I have worked toward the goal of empowering students to reach their potential and see the possibilities for their futures,” said Rohlfing. “It is such an honor to know that my name will now be linked to amazing individuals who will be pursuing their passions through their education at CMU to make a real impact on the world for years to come. I cannot think of anything that could bring me more real joy and pride. I am overwhelmed to be recognized for the privilege of working with such talented students and colleagues.”

Rohlfing’s outstanding work and dedication has not gone unnoticed by those colleagues or students.

“Terri is not an alum of CMU but her devotion to our school and the Division of Fine and Performing Arts represents the perfect melding of town and gown in Fayette, matching up the extraordinary creative talents of our local community with the creative force of our faculty and students at CMU,” said Dr. Mark Kelty, professor of theatre.

Rohlfing’s costume designs have been recognized by both local press and institutions like the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. She has received numerous certificates of merit and has been nominated for the Festival’s Regional Costume Parade three times. Rohlfing’s was among 10-12 shows chosen out of hundreds in the region in both of the last two years.

“This honor comes along rarely in a department’s history,” said Kelty of the parade nomination. “To have it happen three times and twice in a row is almost unheard of.”

Working from her home and often paying for materials out of her own pocket, Rohlfing has also designed costumes for every opera performance at Central since 2010. She also contributes to makeup and hair design and helps with props. She has worked with Professor Lonna Wilke and plant operations director Derry Wiswall to renovate the former Holt Hall kitchen into a costume shop and creative center.

Rohlfing and her husband, Chris, reside in Fayette. Chris has played a crucial role behind-the-scenes in his own right, building costume racks and shelving units for the Holt Hall space and helping in many other ways with the renovation.

The Terri Rohlfing Theatre Arts Scholarship will be awarded this week as talented high school students come to campus to compete in the Center Stage theatre competition on Thursday, February 22.

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