Armstrong advanced to the national level after winning the theatre lighting design competition at the regional American College Theatre Festival held in February in Pasco, Wash. She won the title for her lighting design for the Linfield production of "Woyzeck" last fall. Theatre professionals judged the competition, which included research, technical aspects and photos of her lighting design.
"I was really shocked and exhilarated," said Armstrong of her win. "I am going to be working with professionals in the field. It will be such a great experience."
On the set of "Woyzeck," Armstrong was challenged to work with student director Oliver Ogden to create a consistent feel for the play. Working with about 120 lights, Armstrong crafted a dark setting to tell the story about the damaging effects of war on a Polish soldier.
Armstrong credited Linfields small programs and one-on-one attention for helping her develop her passion. In addition to her work on "Woyzeck," she was the assistant lighting designer for the 2004 production of "Antigone" and worked on several one-act plays while studying abroad in Ireland.
"At Linfield, if you go to a professor as a freshman or sophomore, they are so open," said Armstrong. "There really is a lot of support for doing your own work and for doing more than just taking classes."
Last year, Linfield graduate Melissa Schmeer received the same award for her lighting design work on "Stop Kiss" during the spring of 2004. Professor of Theatre Arts Tyrone Marshall said that since Marshall Theatre opened in 2003, it has helped make Linfield students competitive in the technical aspects of theatre.
"Not until we moved into this building were we ever able to offer a student the chance to play around and really explore lighting design," said Marshall, who is also the director of the theatre and the colleges resident designer. "Our facilities allow students to add another level of sophistication to their work." Armstrong will represent region seven, which includes Alaska, Washington, Wyoming, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Colorado. She will be one of eight students from around the country to present her lighting design and will receive responses from academic and industry professionals from throughout the U.S.
After graduation, Armstrong plans to travel and attend graduate school in either exercise science or lighting design. She hopes to work at a community childrens theater or in outdoor education.