For the second time in three years, the University of the Ozarks Theatre has been selected to perform in the regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.
The University Theatre’s production of “Bug” by Tracy Letts was one of five productions selected for the festival from Region VI, which is comprised of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. The regional festival is scheduled for San Angelo, Texas, in February of 2016.
U of O was the only theatre company from Arkansas chosen for the prestigious honor. Ozarks will be joined by theatre companies from University of Oklahoma, University of Central Oklahoma, Bossier Parrish Community College, and Sam Houston State, at the festival, which will be held Feb. 24-27.
“The students in the theatre program work hard to be the best they can be, growing with each challenge a new production brings,” said U of O Walton professor of Theatre Bruce B. Brown. “Their continued growth and drive is what continues to lead to these wonderful accolades. I could not be more proud and look forward to representing Ozarks at the regional festival in February.”
The production of “Bug” was the Arkansas state premiere and won the two top honors at the state festival, the Director’s Choice and Respondent’s Choice. University Theatre also won three Irene Ryan Performance awards—Rhett Sells, Annie Williams and Haley Hanks—as well as both of the Outstanding Honor Crew awards, Lynda Browder & Jessica Jobst. Additionally, the company won Excellence in Lighting Design (Lucas Hoiland), Excellence in Stage Management (Meghan Mansur), Excellence in Properties Design (Sandra Davis), and Excellence in Scenic Design (Bruce Brown). The company also won the Best Load-in/Load-Out award of the state festival.
This is the second time in three years and only the third time in almost 30 years that Ozarks has been selected to perform at the regional festival. In 2014, the University Theatre performed “In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play),” as part of the regional festival in Shreveport, La., where it played to an audience of more than 2,000 people.