University Theatre scores big in state-wide festival

Release Date: 11/1/2011

University Theatre's production of Ira Levin's "Deathtrap" did U of O proud at the Arkansas State Kennedy Center, American College Theatre Festival held October 26 - 29 at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia.

"Three of our performers were awarded acting awards," said Walton Professor of Theatre Bruce Brown. "Jacqueline Jurcik, David Pluebell, and Jordan Kulow were all honored with Irene Ryan Acting awards. Justin Hughes won an award for Excellence in Lighting Design for our production, and our theatre company won the 'Spirit of the Festival' award for our active participation in our education and support of other schools participating in the festival."

Brown himself received awards for Excellence in Scenic Design and Technical Direction.

Brown explained the festival is not really a competition per se. "Instead," he said, "it is a festival of work done by colleges and universities in our state.  There are awards given for excellence in the different areas, and we were honored to walk away with so many for our production of 'Deathtrap.'  Among the universities participating were University of the Ozarks, Henderson State University, University of Arkansas - Ft. Smith, Arkansas State University- Beebe, Lyon College, Rich Mountain Community College, Ouachita Baptist University, and University of Arkansas - Pine Bluff."

He said the experience of taking a show on the road is extremely educational.  "Not only do we get to learn how to create a production that can travel, we get to experience the other university productions from around our state and learn how they traveled their production," he said. "There are workshops at the festival as well as critiques of each show - both performance and design & technology.  Students get to participate in those critiques and ask questions to further their own understanding.  Having access to professionals working in theatre and being allowed to interview them about their process as well as hearing about the process of our peers in Arkansas is a tremendous learning experience for everyone involved."     

The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide. The KCACTF network involves more than 600 academic institutions throughout the country where theater departments and student artists showcase their work and receive outside assessment by KCACTF respondents.

The company behind "Deathtrap" included Justin Hughes, Lindsey Humphries, Catalina Ruiz-Salazar, Jacqueline Jurcik, Martin Morales, Clayton Becker, Tori Rhein, Orville Scott, Alisha Nystrom, David Pluebell, Jordan Kulow, Jordan Martin, Katelyn Nichols, Ty Volz, Ginny Sain, and Bruce Brown.

University Theatre will present 'Deathtrap' in October.

Cast and crew of the University Theatre production of Ira Levin's comic murder thriller "Deathtrap."