Siloam Springs, Ark. (March 5, 2004) - Four actresses from John Brown University participated in the Irene Ryan Acting Competition for the first time this February. The competition, sponsored in conjunction with the regional American College Theater Festival was held on the University of Arkansas campus. Last fall, two actresses, junior Emily Cullella and sophomore Evelyn Baldwin participated in the JBU production of “Night of January 16th ”and were nominated by a judge to participate in the ACTF competition. Judges nominated 175 students last year from Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma to compete. Each student prepared a five-minute combination of a monologue and a dialogue with a partner of their choosing. Culella chose sophomore Laura Shank, and Baldwin chose junior Victoria McCracken. “It was incredible to be nominated,” said Culella. “If I get another opportunity next year, I have some ideas of what I can do to be more competitive.” “Victoria and I felt really good about our performance,” said Baldwin. “We executed it almost flawlessly.” Unfortunately, JBU did not make the top 32, Jason Hough, instructor of communications and drama said. Hough plans to have students enter next year’s acting competition, and anticipates entering next fall’s play in the regional competition. John Brown University is a top-tier private university, ranked 11th by U.S. News & World Report in the Southern Region. JBU enrolls more than 1,800 students from 42 states and 42 countries. JBU is a member of Arkansas’ Independent Colleges and Universities and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.