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May 11, 1998

Two UCSC actresses receive theater arts scholarships

Natasha Kaluza (left) and Jennifer Green have been awarded the Priscilla Newton Undergraduate Scholarship in Theater Arts for 1997-98.

By Barbara McKenna

Jennifer Green and Natasha Kaluza have been named recipients of the 1997-98 Priscilla Newton Undergraduate Scholarship in Theater Arts, given annually at UCSC.

The scholarship program, now in its seventh year, was established to support students who have shown outstanding talent and dedication to their work in theater arts. The $3,000 scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit and need, with preference given to women.

Green, a senior who graduates this year, has been seen on UCSC stages in numerous productions, including Tartuffe (for which she was also assistant director), Chautauqua, Persistence of Vision, and Betrayal. She coproduced Bald Soprano this past winter, raising funds from various campus sources, and also acted in and served as assistant director for the play. Green plans to move to L.A. this summer where she will pursue an acting career.

Green says she was taken by surprise when she received the award. "I had never even heard of it, but I can tell you it makes a world of difference because I am paying my way through school. When I told my mother the news, she started crying."

Natasha Kaluza is a senior who was recently accepted into UCSC's fifth-year program in theater arts. She has been seen in such productions as Random with a Purpose, Farewell to Manzanar, and Shakespeare To Go's Twelfth Night. She has also acted in several community productions produced by Sisyphus and the Actors' Theatre.

Kaluza is minoring in education and also participates in OPERS's holistic health program. Along with pursuing a career in acting, she hopes to become a certified holistic health practitioner. When asked if the scholarship would help her, Kaluza laughed. "Oh good grief, you have no idea! I already have thousands of dollars worth of debt and I work, which is hard to do when going to school. But it isn't just the money, it was also nice to receive acknowledgment that my work is valued."

The scholarship fund was established in 1991 by Bernard Oliver in honor of his wife, Priscilla Newton. An accomplished Broadway actress, Newton also performed in Chicago and with the USO. When she became a mother, Newton left the professional stage but continued acting, playing major roles with the Palo Alto Community Theater, Stanford University, Foothill College, and the Los Altos Conservatory Theater. Newton died in 1994 at the age of 79. Bernard Oliver died in 1995 at the age of 79.

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