Stewart Mitchell, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Mitchell of Centerville, recently graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in California.
Mitchell, who performed in several plays at City Rep and on other stages in the area before attending the California school two years ago, received two of the school's highest honors - the Charles Jehlinger Award for excellence in acting and the Speech Award for having developed the best speech for theater (the latter award is based on actors' elocutionary skills).The graduation ceremonies were held at the historic Pasadena Playhouse.
Lisle Wilson, publicist for the academy, said Mitchell "did very well. He was also invited to be a member of the academy's acting company, a group of 15-18 students from the graduating class who perform in showcase productions around Hollywood."
The academy maintains schools in both Pasadena and New York.
Mitchell said he auditioned for several acting schools but chose the AADA because of its West Coast location.
The curriculum includes electives in both Shakespearean drama and musical theater.
Mitchell, who previously studied at Southern Utah State College in Cedar City, where he was coached by Douglas Baker, took both courses. (Baker, who helped initiate the Royale Feaste at the Utah Shakespearean Festival, is now featured as Merlin the Magician in the Excalibur Hotel's production of "King Arthur's Tournament" in Las Vegas.)
Mitchell plans to remain in the Los Angeles area, although there is not a lot of theater available for performers who are not yet members of Actors Equity. He noted that most actors work in film and television.
"I may have to do that to make a living, but I would like to remain on the stage."
Locally, Mitchell was seen in StageRight Theater-Company's "A Man for All Seasons" and such City Rep productions as "Charley's Aunt," "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" and the title role of "Robin Hood." He also directed a number of City Rep productions, including "The Other Wise Man" and "Murder on the Nile."