Henderson State University Theatre’s production of I am Emily Doe received multiple awards at the Arkansas/Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival held Oct. 26-28 at Henderson. The play is an original script written by junior theatre major Magee-Lee Preston of The Colony, Texas.
Preston received a merit award for Excellence in Playwriting, and the HSU Theatre program was awarded for Excellence in New Play Development. Nicholas Bius of Benton received a merit award for Excellence in Stage Management.
Three of the individual actors in the production received recognition for Excellence in Acting and nominations to compete in the Irene Ryan Scholarship Auditions at the regional festival to be held in San Angelo, Texas, in February. The nominees are LaDarius Jamerson of Fort Smith, Dakota Mansfield of Benton, and Savannah Reynolds of Monticello.
Receiving commendation for their service on the festival Honor Crew were Nicholas Bius of Benton, Bryant Curtis of Broken Bow, Oklahoma, Tyler Felton of Batesville, Adrian Hinojosa of Hot Springs, LaDarius Jamerson of Fort Smith, Jennings Johnson and Joseph Kalinowski of Searcy, Andrew McBride of Benton, and Jacey Russell of Morrilton.
The production of I am Emily Doe received the Directors’ Choice Award, selected for recognition by vote of the directors of the participating productions. The award makes I am Emily Doe a nominee for possible inclusion in the regional festival. A regional selection committee will meet in late November to decide which of the nominated productions from across the five-state region will be invited to perform at the festival.
The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival is a national theatre education program established to recognize, reward, and celebrate the exemplary work produced in college and university theatres across the nation. Last year more than 1,300 productions were entered in the festival, involving more than 200,000 students nationwide. Henderson hosted the Arkansas state festival on its campus on October 26-28.