NORMAN — Students from the Peggy V. Helmerich School of Drama at the University of Oklahoma won top honors at the recent Region VI Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in Shreveport, La. Drama students won top honors in the Irene Ryan Acting competition and the Design, Technology and Management, Dramaturgy, and Playwriting competitions.
Several awards include invitations to compete or train in April at the national festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
Invited theater productions are another key facet of the festival. The Helmerich School of Drama’s production of “Miss Evers’ Boys,” directed by OU assistant professor Alissa Millar, was selected and performed to a full house.
The play was awarded Director’s Choice. The ensemble won the Golden Hand Truck for smoothest load-in before the show.
Competing against 170 teams from across the region, the Helmerich School of Drama swept the two highest acting awards.
Jake Lozano and his partner Josh Bonzie and Kamron McClure and his partner Gabby Reyes won top honors in the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Auditions, which provide recognition and financial assistance to outstanding student performers. All four students will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the National Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in Washington, D.C., to compete against representatives from the seven other regions.
In addition, Chandler Ryan and her partner Blake Henry were named first alternates. Meredith Little won the title of Best Partner in the semi-final round, Bonzie won Best Partner for the final round and Lozano was awarded the Molly Risso Classical Acting Award.
In the area of design, technology and management, OU Drama students won nine top awards.
Ethan Hartman won the regional National Design Award–Design Excellence for “Coram Boy,” which includes a trip to the Kennedy Center for national competition. Dalyn Boyd was awarded Meritorious Achievement in Scenic Design for “Miss Evers’ Boys.” Also winning Meritorious Achievements in Costume Design were Melissa Perkins for “The Drowsy Chaperone” and Jenava Burguiere for “Carousel.” Matthew Barnard received Meritorious Achievement in Sound Design for “Coram Boy.”