Forty-six productions from colleges and universities in Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas were viewed in person by Region VI representatives this fall and NSU’s version of “The 39 Steps” was one of six chosen to be presented at the regional conference.
The production of “Once on This Island” was selected as the second alternate. Northwestern State was the only Louisiana college or university to have a play chosen for performance at the festival. NSU’s production could be selected to for performance at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival National Festival in April in Washington, D.C.
“This is comparable to one of our athletic teams winning the conference championship,” said Coordinator of Theatre and Dance Scott Burrell, who directed the play. “The selection process is rigorous and reflects on the outstanding work done by our theatre and dance students, faculty and staff.”
Nine NSU students and one alumna were nominated for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship, which provides recognition, honor and financial assistance to outstanding student performers wishing to pursue further education. Johnathan Portier of Slidell, Grace Vogel of Metairie and Matt Richardson of Fayetteville, Ark., were nominated for “The 39 Steps.” Jori Jackson of Shreveport, Alexia Mullally of Houston and Tyler Price of New Orleans were nominated for “Once On This Island” and Grace Brumfield of Prairieville and alumna Taylor Morgan of Baton Rouge were nominated for “West Side Story.” Sarah Roberts of Chattanooga, Tenn., and Lindsey Page of Houston were nominated for “Eleemosynary.”
Five students were nominated for musical theatre initiatives. Julian Anderson of Pineville, Breanna Collier of Bossier City and DeAngelo Renard of Mandeville were nominated for “Once on This Island” and David Brumfield of Prairieville and Beau Wilson of St. Amant were nominated for “West Side Story.” The goal of the initiative is to celebrate and recognize outstanding musical theatre students.
Polanco Jones Jr. of Metairie received a meritorious achievement award for choreography for “Once on This Island.” Meritorius achievement selections for “The 39 Steps” were Maria Hefte and Cory Germany of Covington for acting, faculty member Paul Pharris for sound design, Kathy Hustmyre of Mandeville for stage management, Brittany Roy of Mandeville for costume design, Cassidy Bowles of Tyler, Texas, and Savannah Callais of Cutoff for prop design.
The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide. More than 600 academic institutions take part. The Festival honors excellence of overall production and offers student artists individual recognition through awards and scholarships in playwriting, acting, criticism, directing and design. Judges in consultation with the artistic director select four to six of the best and most diverse regional festival productions to be showcased in the spring at the annual noncompetitive national festival.