Emory & Henry College Students and Faculty win recognition at Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

Posted on: Monday, February 10th, 2014
by Brent Treash
Three faculty members of the Emory & Henry College Theatre Department have won Meritorious Achievement Awards from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) for their work on the fall 2013 shows

Three faculty members of the Emory & Henry College Theatre Department have won Meritorious Achievement Awards from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) for their work on the fall 2013 shows Talley’s Folly and Into the Woods.

Professor Dan Wheeler won for excellence in design for both shows, and two directors, Drs. Kelly Bremner and Andrew Blasenak, won for excellence in directing. The awards are given by reviewers from fellow colleges and are reserved only for the top college theatre productions.

“To have both our fall shows recognized is a great honor,” Blasenak said. “It really speaks to the level of commitment, professionalism and artistry that our students and faculty bring to each production.”

Four students also attended the festival to compete, participate in workshops, rehearse and perform in new play readings, and see shows from the faculty and students from colleges throughout the southeastern United States.

Sophomore Osama Ashour competed in the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship competition and was selected for the semi-final round of 32 out of a field of 210 students. He and partner McKinley Hughes (sophomore) received strong praise for their performance of a scene from Rajiv Joseph’s Gruesome Playground Injuries.

Jessica Hughes (sophomore) was nominated for the Student Dramaturgy Award, and worked on a 10-minute play which won for best playwright and director.

The Emory & Henry Department of Theatre offers a broad-based general theatre major and minor as well as four areas of specialization: acting, directing, musical theatre, and production and design. These majors combine in-depth academic preparation with extensive production work with a specific focus of working in the professional theatre.

Started in 1969 by Roger L. Stevens, the Kennedy Center’s founding chairman, the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival is a national theatre program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide which has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college theatre in the United States.

The Festival has grown into a network of more than 600 academic institutions throughout the country, where theatre departments and student artists showcase their work and receive outside assessment by festival respondents.