Donald H. Hall Scholarship Recipients

2016 – 2017

This year’s funds were given to ACT/Young People’s Theatre scholarships.

2015-2016 Shelby Bauer


Shelby is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in music education and a minor in psychology at Northern State University. She has been the stage manager for ACT’s “Little Shop of Horrors” (2014) and stepped on stage as Humpty Dumpty/Happy Villager in ACT’s “Shrek the Musical” (2015).


2014-2015 Shlomit Oren


Shlomit is currently studying psychology at NSU to become a Dance Movement Therapist. Passionate about the arts, she is a hula hooper, belly dancer, painter, writer, flute player, singer, mask performer and model. Shlomit has performed around the world, including Israel, New York and Africa. Additionally, she has toured as a clown with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. She is thankful to have the opportunity to get her education from NSU and wants to encourage humanity to make the world a better place through art and expression.


2013-2014 Nicole Christiansen

Nicole returned to school full time at Northern State University (NSU) in January 2012.  She is pursuing additional Bachelor degrees in History and English.  Nicole has spent her summer as an intern with the South Dakota State Historical Preservation Office in Pierre.  As a ten year ACT volunteer, Nicole has donated her time in a variety of capacities at the theater: on-stage actor, backstage support, orchestra, Improv, usher, Capitol Cinema box office and work days.  Her first show with ACT was “Gypsy” (2003) and she was last seen on stage in “Leaving Iowa” (2012).

2012-2013 Ben Villa and Sarah Honerman

Ben Villa is a senior at NSU double majoring in musical theater and voice.  He is originally from Rapid City but now calls Aberdeen home.  He has been involved with many NSU and ACT productions as well as productions at the Northern Fort Playhouse.  His credits include “Zanadu” (NSU 2012),  “Monty Python’s Spamalot” (ACT 2012) and “Phantom of the Opera” (NSU 2011).  His future goals include going on to graduate school for stage management and becoming an Equity stage manager.

Sarah Honerman is a senior at NSU majoring in English education with a minor in theater.  Sarah first became involved in theater her sophomore year at Washington High School in Sioux Falls.  She starred in five shows while there.  Since then, she has appeared on and off stage at NSU, ACT and the Northern Fort Playhouse.  Some of her credits include “The Three Musketeers” (NSU 2009), “Chicago: The Musical” (ACT 2011) and “Title of Show” (NSU 2011).

 2011 – 2012 Emily Davis

Emily Davis will be a sophomore at NSU next year majoring in music and musical theater. A CHS graduate, Emily has been involved at ACT since 4th grade. She participated in 19 Young People’s Theatre and Storybook Land Theatre (SBLT) plays and camps.

From 2008 to 2010, Emily was an SBLT season cast member, assisting Brian Schultz with six camps and performing in 15 summer productions. She also was assistant director/stage manager for two YPT productions.

While at CHS, she was onstage or behind-the-scenes for three shows and was onstage for one NSU show.

In addition, she was on stage and/or behind-the-scenes for seven ACT main stage productions. Emily was narrator in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” (2010) and was Annie and a chorus member in “Chicago: The Musical” (2011).

2010 – 2011

This year’s funds were given to ACT/Young People’s Theatre scholarships.

2009 – 2010

This year’s funds were given to ACT/Young People’s Theatre scholarships.

2008 – 2009 Cory Niles

Cory Niles, Aberdeen, was awarded the third annual Donald H. Hall scholarship.  He was seen as Lun Tha, opposite Valerie Tescher’s Tuptim, in ACT’s musical “The King and I” (2008).  Lun Tha and Tuptim sang “We Kiss in the Shadows” and “I Have Dreamed” as the show’s love-torn couple.

Niles has also appeared on NSU’s stage in “Urinetown,” “Miss Saigon” and “tick…tick…BOOM.”  Niles’ major at NSU is musical theater.

 2007 – 2008 Ryan Puffer

ACT has awarded its second annual Donald H. Hall scholarship for a Northern State University (NSU) student to Ryan Puffer, Aberdeen, majoring in English Education, taking theater courses and appearing  in their productions.

Puffer was seen as Hines, the time-efficiency expert in ACT’s musical “The Pajama Game” (2007)  He has also been on ACT’s Capitol Theatre stage in “Anything Goes” (2006) and “Annie Get You Gun” (2005).  Before appearing in ACT’s main stage musicals, Puffer was seen in five Young People’s Theatre in the Capitol and three Storybook Land Theatre productions in the Castle at Wylie Park.

 2006 – 2007 Angela Nguyen

Angela K. Nguyen, Aberdeen, in the junior class for Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theatre at NSU, is the first recipient of ACT’s Donald H. Hall scholarship.

Nguyen first appeared on ACT’s Capitol Theatre stage in “A Christmas Carol” (1999), but is better remembered as Liat in “South Pacific” (2001), then as Agnes a Minsky showgirl in “Gypsy” (2003) and was assistant choreographer and appeared in “Annie Get Your Gun” (2005).  For Young People’s Theatre, she coached movement and helped paint the set for “Mankind and Company” (2004) and “Aesop’s (Oh, So Slightly Updated) Fables” (2005).  She was also a member of Aberdeen Parks and Recreation and ACT’s Storybook Land Theater company in 2004.

In costume here, she appeared as two very different characters in Neil Simon’s “Plaza Suite,” a Northern Fort (Sisseton) Playhouse production also performed for ACT’s 2006 season.