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LSUA theatre earns multiple awards at Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

Released: 12/03/2010

LSU Alexandria’s Empty Space Players have just returned from participation in the Louisiana state component of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in New Orleans. This annual festival/competition was hosted by the University of New Orleans, Department of Theatre, Film and Television. Participating Louisiana university theatre programs included University of Louisiana/Lafayette, Southern University/Shreveport, McNeese State University University of New Orleans, Louisiana College, Delgado Community College and LSU Alexandria. Fully staged, full length productions are presented in this annual festival and are adjudicated by a theatre professional from outside the region and by regional theatre professionals from other states within the region. This year the national judge was Michael Allen, chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance, Montclair State University, Montclair, New Jersey; regional judges were Harold Hynick, theatre faculty at Missouri Valley College and Bob Stevenson, director of theatre at the University of Arkansas, Fort Smith. Each year, recognitions and awards are given to universities and individuals for their work on participating productions and to individual students who are eligible for Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship nominations. This is LSUA’s second year of participation in this 30 year old program and this year’s entry in the festival was the University’s recent production of Charlotte Jones’ HUMBLE BOY, directed by Richard Gwartney and originally performed locally at the Kress Theatre, September 30 through October 10. The LSUA production was honored with six awards; more than any other production in the festival. Three LSUA students were honored with Irene Ryan Nominations: Jonathan Belgard, senior theatre major, Lauren Campbell, junior theatre major, and Maura Heroldscheimer, first semester performing and visual arts major. LSUA’s entire acting company was awarded a citation or “Excellence in Ensemble Acting” and Richard Gwartney was given a citation for “Excellence in Production Design.” Finally, the entire production was selected by the national respondent for consideration of inclusion in the Region VI festival/competition, scheduled for late February 2011 in Amarillo, Texas. The next step in this process is a DVD submission of a thirty minute segment from the play to the national committee and a DVD submission to the Region VI committee members. Final selection of regional participants is expected later this semester. All three Irene Ryan nominees and their acting partners will compete in the Regional Competition in Amarillo. Also in the cast and crew for this production are Matthew Butler, Caroline Randall, Jeremiah X. Johnston, Amber Hicks, Katherine Clark, John Cady, Ty Cedars, Payden Moore, Cade Cascio, Tommy Brasher, Tory Parks, Georgia Fox and Dr. Rhonda Shook. LSUA is proud of the accomplishments of our theatre students and faculty members. It is particularly rewarding to receive such recognition at a time when we are challenged to fund our theatre program due to recent budget reductions and cuts. If you wish to support this worthy student-centered effort, please contact Richard Gwartney, director of theatre, LSUA at or by phone at (318) 427-4469.