Clayton Joyner, a sophomore theater major at Illinois State University, recently won the prestigious Irene Ryan National Acting Scholarship at the annual Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in Washington D.C. Joyner was one of two students chosen as national champions and 2011 Irene Ryan Scholarship Award winners; the other was Daniel Molina from Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia.
Joyner was previously chosen as one of two actors to advance to the national competition from the Region III Festival, which took place in January. Region III consists of colleges in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
Joyner's acting partner at the KCACTF National Festival was Zachary Powell, an MFA candidate in acting at ISU. Powell took home the The Kingsley Colton Award for Outstanding Partner, an award sponsored by Actors Equity Association.
Joyner appeared in ISU's production of "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" last fall as beautiful little Olive Ostrovsky, as well as "Rock 'n' Roll" earlier this month, while Powell played J. Pierrepont Finch in ISU's "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" in February.
You can read more about the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival here or visit their blog here.