Kamps Memorial Award
Given by Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre
BDHS Graduate Receives BDACT’s Kamps Award
Mylana Lunde, a 2023 Beaver Dam High School graduate, is the recipient of this year’s Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre (BDACT) Jerome H. Kamps Memorial Award. In her scholarship essay, Mylana noted that her family is “an eclectic group of artists, from singers to actors to musicians.” While family members played a variety of roles both on and off stage, Mylana said, “I auditioned to get up on stage with them. My first shows were absolutely magical. The Wizard of Oz was particularly special, as I shared the stage with my sister, cousin, uncle, and best friends. It showed me early on how a community grows in the theater.”
A talented musician and actress, the community has watched Mylana grow up on the BDACT stage, participating in Tell-A-Tale productions and the area high school musicals. She was recognized for a prestigious Jerry Award from the Overture Theatre for her role as Belle in the Beaver Dam High School musical production of Beauty and the Beast. She appeared in a variety of high school musicals and other theatrical productions, as well as concerts and musical events. A talented vocalist, Mylana has developed a reputation for original songwriting and performing. She headlined a fundraising concert at the old BDACT location and continues to write and perform original music.
To qualify for the $500 annual award sponsored by the Kamps family, the recipient must be a graduating senior from Beaver Dam High School, Wayland Academy, or another area high school, who is committed to post-secondary education. This fall, Mylana plans to attend UW-Madison to pursue an undergraduate degree in music.
To select an award winner, a committee of theater representatives evaluates the candidates’ essays and tallies the points and hours committed to their theater experiences. Committee Chair Annette Kamps said. “In their essays, the applicants expressed sincere appreciation for the opportunities that theater has given them to grow in their talents and benefit from the camaraderie created within a supportive theater community.”
About Jerome H. Kamps
Jerome H. Kamps was a charter member and co-founder of Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre, established in 1964, and a dedicated Beaver Dam High School art teacher for thirty-four years. He was set designer and director of set painting for more than sixty high school plays during his teaching career. From 1964 until just before his death on May 4, 2015, he also designed and directed set painting for many BDACT productions. He particularly encouraged and gave enthusiastic support to young people as he helped them discover and demonstrate their art talents at school and through community projects. Among those projects was a large barn mural, part of a state-wide project sponsored by the Wisconsin Arts Board. One of his favorite BDACT projects was the extraordinary set for Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat, in 1995. Given his example as a dedicated “back-stage worker” who gave his talents and love for the arts unconditionally, the Jerome H. Kamps Memorial Award will especially acknowledge those characteristics.