News Release

Southeastern hosts state theater festival

Contact: Tonya Lowentritt


     HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University is hosting the state competition of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Nov. 15 and 16.

     “Southeastern is proud to be hosting the festival for the first time since 1998,” said theater instructor Jim Winter. “We were scheduled to host the festival in 2005 and Katrina changed that.”

     Southeastern Theatre’s festival entry is Winter’s play “Dead Flowers,” which will kick-off the festival with an 8 p.m. performance on Nov. 15 in Vonnie Borden Theatre. Entries by Dillard University and McNeese State University will be performed on Friday, Nov. 16.  Dillard will present “Top Dog Underdog” at 11 a.m. and McNeese will present “An Evening of Edward Albee Plays” at 6 p.m.

     Productions entered at the state level are eligible for consideration to advance to the KC/ACTF Region VI festival, which includes universities in Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma.  The regional festival’s best entries are invited to compete in the national festival, which will be held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC in spring 2008.

     “Last year more than 1,300 productions were entered in the KC/ACTF involving more than 200,000 students nationwide,” Winter said. “By entering this production, our theater department is sharing in the KC/ACTF goals to recognize, reward, and celebrate the exemplary work produced in college and university theaters across the nation.”

     In addition to the theater festival performance, “Dead Flowers” will also be presented Nov. 7-10 at Vonnie Borden Theatre at 7:30 p.m. The play, Winter said, “deals with a love triangle between a mother, who’s on heroin, her son, who is trying to get her to shake the habit, and the drug itself, which I’ve chosen to personify in the play.  It’s actually a character who magically appears and sings to her and there’s this battle between those two over her soul.”

     Cast members are Whitney Allen, Hammond, as Amanda Perry; Sean Curry, Luling, as Vincent Perry; Jaren Mitchell, New Orleans, as Tiger; William Rushing, Baton Rouge, as Brad; Ryan Louviere, Cut Off, as Billy Perry; and Charly Genco, Amite, as Jane.

     Southeastern students involved in the production include Tony Terrell, Independence, scenic designer; Kathryn Steele, Baton Rouge, lighting designer; Richard Walsh, Hammond, costume designer; Rebecca Brown, Convent, make up designer; Katie Zirkenbach, Metairie, assistant director and properties master; and Kaytlynn Eddleman, Walker, stage manager.

     “Dead Flowers” is directed by Chad Winters, Southeastern directing and acting instructor, while Chad Pierce, KSLU underwriting and development representative, is responsible for sound design.

     Tickets -- $10, adults, $6 senior citizens, faculty, staff, alumni and non-Southeastern students – are available at the theater box office in D Vickers Hall.  Southeastern students are admitted free with their university I.D. Tickets will also be available for the McNeese and Dillard plays at the theater festival. 

     For additional information contact Winter at (985) 549-3546 or

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