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HCT awards 3 Ethan Shell scholarships

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Posted: Friday, August 10, 2012 12:00 am

LIHU‘E — Hawai‘i Children’s Theatre has awarded the 2012 Ethan Shell Memorial College Scholarships for Performing Arts to Toby Riggle, Annalissa Hartsell and Kaitlin “Maka” Viernes.

The scholarships are in memory of Ethan Bradford Shell, a young man who grew up on Kaua‘i and participated in numerous HCT productions and programs. Shell had graduated from college in New York City, and was working in an off-Broadway play and as a model when he died suddenly from an undiagnosed heart condition in 2010, at age 21.

HCT and Shell’s family started the scholarship program to support first- or second-year students who will be majoring or minoring in performing arts. This is HCT’s third year to gift college tuition monies to Kaua‘i’s talented children. Scholarship applications for 2013 will be available at www.hawaiichildrenstheatre.com next February.

Riggle is currently attending the prodigious Stella Adler Studio of Acting in NYC.

He is studying every aspect of acting, exploring both the mental and physical areas of performance. Riggle was in many HCT and KPAC productions prior to graduating high school.

Riggle was very moved when he was notified of the award.

“Attaining the Ethan Shell memorial scholarship is truly a blessing,” Riggle said. “I really appreciate the generosity, thoughtfulness and support from my family of thespians and theater-goers here on Kaua‘i.”  

Hartsell will be attending Northwestern University in Chicago this fall and majoring in dance. She has been dancing for more than 13 years; training in ballet, tap, jazz and modern dance.

“The Ethan Shell Memorial Scholarship is a great one, because it encourages dancers, musicians and all performing artists to pursue their passions without bounds,” Hartsell said. “I am honored to be a recipient this year.”

Viernes is 18, and after a year at KCC she will be starting her sophomore year at Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass. She will be majoring in both music and psychology with the goal of becoming a counselor and music therapist. She also intends to become a violin teacher and help people through sharing music.

“I am so grateful for the Ethan Shell Memorial Scholarship because it has enabled me to make my dream of higher education a reality,” Viernes said.

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