A student from Utah’s Tuacahn High School for the Arts in southern Utah won a prestigious national award in theatre.
“I just started bawling my eyes out because I knew how much this was going to change for me. And I’m just so grateful," Rebekah Uyleman said.
Uyleman, a senior at Tuacahn High School for the Arts won the National Young Arts competition in the category of theatre.
This makes her one of a handful of individuals from the state who have received the honor, and likely the only Utahn to win the award for theatre.
Uyleman said her school has helped her to achieve her goals and pushed her to enter the competition. Specifically artistic director, Kyle Lewis who first heard of the competition.
“This is our first year, it’s something that we had expected to join the competition merely to learn about it," he said.
Lewis was a main figure who helped Ulyeman in preparation.
Drew Williams is the executive director of the school and said while most art schools are located in major cities, having Uyleman receive the award at a school in a rural area has helped bring awareness to the talent found within its walls.
“As a school of 400 we often think of ourselves as the little engine that could," he said. "This put us on the map, put Utah on the map and established us and our students as artistic powerhouse students. Kyle and I always knew that and I think this award has legitimized it for our community.”
After winning the award, Ulyeman is now connected to a network of successful artists and has access to grants and training to help further her career.