Students honored at regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival
Contact: Tonya Lowentritt
HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University students were honored with awards and recognition at the Region VI Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, Feb. 23-28.
Approximately 700 students from more than 50 colleges and universities in Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Missouri competed at the regional festival.
“I have never been more proud of a group we’ve taken to the regional festival,” said theater instructor Jim Winter. “Our students were active all week long in areas of acting, playwriting, directing, technical theatre and theatre criticism.”
Southeastern was awarded the “Excellence in Support of New Works” award, while Will Stacey of Franklinton received the “Excellence in Honor Crew” award. Southeastern playwright Tommie Sorrell received the “Excellence in Playwriting” award and is a national finalist for the John Cauble Short Play Award.
Tara Bennett of Covington, and Gabrielle LeBlanc of Baton Rouge were recognized by the National Critics Institute for their participation in the theater criticism competition.
In addition to the awards Southeastern brought home, many students made professional contacts, Winter said.
Jaren Mitchell of New Orleans interviewed with the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre and has been invited to participate in their upcoming summer intensive program. Dell’Arte is considered by many as one of the best schools in the world for physical actor training, Winter said.
Winter said Stacey also interviewed with the Santa Fe Opera and has since landed a second interview. Lavonna Varnado of Paradis had an informal interview with the head of the Master of Fine Arts program in Dramaturgy at Texas State University-San Marcos.
“The Southeastern contingent was extremely popular among students and faculty at the festival,” Winter added. “Our students networked and made new friends and professional associates. They truly took every opportunity the festival offered them.”