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Cedar Springs grad wins Grand award

Grand Award winners

Rebekah Visser Hughes (far right) received a Grand Award earlier this month for her part in Anne of Green Gables. She is pictured here with fellow Cornerstone student Leah Hoffman (left) and director Jennifer Hunter (center) at the awards.

Rebekah (Becky) Visser Hughes, a graduate of Cedar Springs High School and 2010 graduate of Cornerstone University, was awarded the Grand Award for best supporting actress earlier this month for her role in Cornerstone’s production of Anne of Green Gables.

Becky’s fellow cast member, Leah Hoffman, also won a Grand Award, for outstanding leading actress for her role as Anne.

The Grand Awards ceremony, held at the Aquinas Performing Arts Center on Oct. 3, annually honors community and college theatre productions.

“We were so thrilled to see this production receive 6 of the 8 nominations for the Grand Awards this year,” said director Jennifer Hunter, who is also associate professor of theatre at Cornerstone. “It was the highest grossing play or musical ever produced in the history of Cornerstone theatre, so for it to be recognized in the greater Grand Rapids theatre community with numerous productions was very exciting.”

Hunter explained that Becky played Rachel Lynde, the neighborly busybody, and had the audience roaring with laughter at every turn.  She said Becky’s character, Rachel, would pop up during scenes and dispense advice or I told you so phrases.  “She was always a surprise and would steal the scene that she would pop into,” noted Hunter. “Becky is truly one of our ‘character’ actresses.  She’s great at finding and embodying the character. She truly researches and tries to find the quirks and nuances of all of the characters she portrays.”

So how does she feel about her win? “It feels really good to be honest and also very humbling,” she said in a recent interview. “There is a lot of talent in the Grand Rapids theatre community, so even just to be nominated is incredible.”

Becky was also nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Midsummer’s Night Dream.

As a theatre major she has been active in the theatre program at Cornerstone. She also was in several productions at Cedar Springs High School, including The Wizard of Oz (as the wicked witch of the west), Peter Pan (as Tinkerbell) and Jungle Book (as Kaa), among others.

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