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ASU Garners Record Number of Awards at Kennedy Center Theater Festival

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Author: Tina Joly

Release Date: Feb 12, 2013

ASU garnered a record number of awards at the prestigious Kennedy Theater Festival, with two students earning the chance to compete for the nation's top theater award.

Students and faculty in ASU’s Department of Theatre Arts have returned from the regional Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Albany, Ga., with several prestigious awards. Now, two students will represent the University at the national theater competition in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Wendy R. Coleman, chair of ASU’s Department of Theatre Arts, said the awards mean a lot to the University and to the student winners.

“Our students are honoring the rich legacy of ASU Theatre. They work hard; they sacrifice a lot, and wins like these help show them that it’s all worth it,” Coleman said.

The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival is the largest and most prestigious collegiate theater competition in the United States. 
ASU's student-actors won four top spots, in both solo and duo-acting competitions, a historic number of wins for the University. The competition included more than 450 teams from more than 100 colleges and universities from the southeastern United States (including Puerto Rico and Guam). One fourth of all of this year’s finalists were from ASU.

Two students, Antonio Woodard and Joseph Batiste, have secured their place to compete at the national festival this April at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Tommie “Tonea” Stewart, dean of ASU’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, said the awards add to the list of those garnered by ASU's theatre troupe over the last 10 years. She credits the acting technique of “Being,” which is at the core of ASU’s Theatre Arts curriculum, for providing students with a solid foundation.  

"This is a tremendous accomplishment for the students and the University. The acting concept of ‘Being’ … is unique and powerful, not only for actors, but for artists in every aspect of theatre. It enhances one’s existence and appreciation of life, whether it is behind the scenes or on the stage,” Stewart said.

Complete List of Award Winners

Student Performance Awards:

  • Antonio Woodard and Joseph Batiste won the top award for the Irene Ryan Acting Competition. They will compete against all of the nation’s regional winners at the Kennedy Center for the national competition in late April.
  • Daniela Cobb and Desire Gaston are the 2nd Alternates for the national competition.
  • Daniela Cobb won the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) Musical Theatre Award.
  • Britney Alfred won the Marvin Sims Diversity Award for Acting.

The acting students were coached and advised by Brian Martin, director of the Dramatic Guild and professor of Theatre Arts. 

Student Stage Management Recognition:

  • Toran Moore was honored as a KCACTF Festival Stage Manager.  He was considered and selected from more than 150 applicants who were filtered down to a final group of 30. Toran was coached and advised by Anthony Stockard, professor of theatre arts. 

Faculty Certificates of Merit:

  • Joseph Harris for Scene Design for “Richard III”
  • Ramona Ward for Costume Design for “Richard III”

Other Recognition

In addition to the awards, ASU students and faculty received significant feedback and reviews for their performances, including The Devised Theatre Project, which was created and performed by students and advised by Ramona Ward.

The students also were invited to perform “Crowns,” the first festival invitation for an ASU production in more than 10 years.  “Crowns” was directed by Dr. Wendy Coleman.  The show’s design and production team members include Joseph Harris – Scene Design; Ramona Ward – Costume Design; Bryan Kaschube – Lighting and Sound Design; Anthony Stockard – production manager; and Robert Oler – interim technical director.

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