University Theatre shines at state festival

Release Date: 10/29/2013

The University of the Ozarks Theatre's production of "In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play" was awarded the top two honors at the Arkansas State Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, held on the U of O campus Oct. 24-26.

The University Theatre production was selected for the Respondent's Choice Award and the Director's Choice Award, the festival's top honors. The last time Ozarks' theatre won both awards in the state festival was in 1992.

"These two awards bring with them high honors and the fact that Ozarks won both of them is majorly significant," said Walton Professor of Theatre Bruce B. Brown.  "Out of all of the plays entered in the state, our production was selected by both professional respondents and all directors as the best in state. "

Brown said the production could be selected for the regional festival, scheduled for Louisiana in February. In November, six university theatre companies from Region IV (Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, New Mexico, Louisiana, and Texas) will be chosen to have a production featured at the regional festival in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Several individuals also received additional honors.  Students Annie Williams, Utah Robertson, and Lauren Charters were awarded Irene Ryan Acting Awards for their work in the production.  Sandra Davis was also awarded an excellence in performance award for her role.

"It is highly unusual for more than three performance awards to be presented," Brown said.

U of O President Richard L. Dunsworth was recognized for excellence in festival hosting as were the students in the university theatre company.  Theatre Technical Director Lucas Hoiland was recognized for excellence in festival technical direction and Brown was recognized for excellence in festival organization and management. 

Theatre awards

The members of the University Theatre company who won awards at the Arkansas State Kennedy College Theatre Festival recently were (from left) Walton Professor of Theatre Bruce B. Brown, Sandra Davis, Utah Robertson, Lauren Charters, Annie Williams and Technical Director Lucas Hoiland.