For the seventh consecutive year, University of Oklahoma students from the Peggy Dow Helmerich School of Drama have earned national honors at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival held recently in Washington, D.C.
“The University community is thrilled by the continuing achievement in drama at the nation’s highest level,” said OU President David L. Boren.
“We are thrilled for our students; this opportunity can move a career forward by years,” said School of Drama Director Tom Huston Orr. “It takes the dedication of the entire faculty to mentor students to the Kennedy Center, and they deserve a great deal of praise.”
Junior Jake Lozano, who achieved first place in the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Competition, was the recipient of a $3,000 scholarship. His scene partner, senior Josh Bonzie, won Outstanding Partner, which includes an all-expense paid internship with the Tony Award-winning Actors’ Theatre of Louisville. Junior Kamron McClure was awarded the Dell' Arte International School of Physical Theatre Fellowship. This acting competition began with more than 2,000 students from universities and colleges across the country competing for the right to perform on the Kennedy Center stage. Only 16 actors and their partners from across the nation advance to the top level.
For his set design for Coram Boy, senior Ethan Hartman, won the National Partners of the American Theatre Award for Design Excellence, which includes an all-expense paid week at the Korean National University of the Arts, Seoul, Korea. Hartman also was awarded the Seven Devils Playwrights Conference Fellowship in Scene Design.
In addition, the School of Drama’s production of Miss Evers’ Boys was awarded four national citations: Distinguished Achievement in the Production of a Play, Distinguished Achievement in the Direction of a Play for OU Assistant Professor of Drama, Alissa Millar, and Distinguished Achievement by an Actor to Kamron McClure and Outstanding Performance and Production Ensemble. In July, Miss Evers’ Boys will travel to Grahamstown, South Africa, to participate in the 40th annual South Africa National Arts Festival.
The students who advance to the Kennedy Center not only compete for scholarships and internships opportunities, but they participate in workshops taught by master teachers and professional artists working in the theatre. The mission of Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival is to nurture and mentor young talent and prepare them for success in the theatre.
The actors prepare all year for an opportunity to showcase their outstanding work, giving them access to professionals who can not only teach them about the professional theatre but also provide direct connections to opportunities in the industry.