Theatre Program Wins Awards at Kennedy Center Festival

From Feb. 13-18, EWU theatre students and faculty are attending the 2012 Region VII Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in Fort Collins, Colo., in recognition of their exemplary adaptation and stage portrayal of Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried.

The goals of the national theatre education program are to identify and promote quality in college-level theatre production and to recognize, reward, and celebrate accomplished work produced in college and university theatres across the nation.

Last year more than 1, 300 productions nationwide were entered into competition, which involved more than 200,000 students. EWU is part of region 7, which is made up of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Northern California, Nevada, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.

The Things They Carried was selected as an alternate for festival participation. “That means that out of all the schools in our region, our production was considered the best of the best. Only four productions are selected for festival participation in our region,” said Sara Goff, assistant professor of theatre at EWU. “It is a tremendous honor to be selected to present at a regional festival. The KCACTF process is a highly selective and competitive process.”

While theatre students are attending the festival, they will compete for scholarships, internships, grants, monetary awards and professional contracts. They will also attend workshops presented by working theatre and film professionals and see shows.

Among those workshops is one being put on by Goff and Jeff Sanders, lecturer in theatre at EWU, on the adaptation and creation process of The Things They Carried.

“For the first time our EWU theatre program is nationally recognized for its quality. This honor will boost our reputation in our region and help the EWU theatre program gain visibility and status,” said Goff.

Recently Goff and Sanders were informed that they were being formally recognized at the regional festival for a faculty excellence certificate, that of Excellence in Program Development.

“While this award formally recognizes Jeff and I, more importantly it recognizes the EWU theatre program for its tremendous growth and the esteem of its recent accomplishments,” said Goff.

In addition to the prestige performing at the festival brings, as well as the faculty recognition and workshop-hosting, EWU theatre students and the production as a whole were recognized for their excellence, too. The following awards were given by festival respondents:

Irene Ryans: (Acting Awards)
Justin Matthew Schlabach
Howard Halcomb
Chailee Friant

Certificates of Merit
Sara Goff – Direction
Jessica Ray – Costume Design
Teko Dumoulin – Stage Management
Outstanding Ensemble Performance