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Theatre Students Garner Attention at Regional Festival

March 21, 2011

The OBU Theatre Department participated in the KCACTF Region VI Festival Feb. 22-26 in Amarillo, Texas, with two students achieving special recognition in their areas of expertise. Jonathan Studstill earned a meritorious award in design, and Katherine Wortley was recognized as one of the top actors in the region.

Jonathan Studstill Katherine Wortley

The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) is a national organization that exists to celebrate the educational and creative process of university and college theatre. Region VI includes Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

OBU senior Studstill, from Arlington, Texas, competed in the Lighting Design Achievement division in the design competition. He earned the Barbizon Meritorious Achievement Award for Excellence in Lighting Design for the OBU Theatre production of Antigone. Taunia Logan, a senior from Perryton, Texas, competed in the Alcone Makeup Design Competition. The designs were appraised on the basis of quality, effectiveness, originality and rendering techniques.

Four acting students competed in the regional Irene Ryan Acting Competition. They included Wortley, a senior from Fort Smith, Ark.; Avery Ketchum, a freshman from Broken Arrow, Okla.; Ashley Mounts, a senior from Kiefer, Okla.; and Jake Randolph, a senior from Goddard, Kan. Wortley advanced to the semi-final round, which represented the top 30 actors in the region. The Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships provide recognition, honor, and financial assistance to outstanding student performers wishing to pursue further education. The Irene Ryan Foundation awards sixteen regional and two national scholarships annually.

The purpose of the awards is to provide students with feedback from professionals working in the field; to give outstanding student designers national recognition; and to provide the opportunity for student designers to exhibit their work at the Kennedy Center.

Laura Byland, associate professor and director of theatre at OBU, serves as the Oklahoma State Chair for the KCACTF Region VI. Among other honors, Byland received a 2009 KCACTF award for Excellence in Set Design, a commendation from the National Selection Team from Region VI of the KCACTF for directing, The University of Oklahoma's School of Drama award for Outstanding Lighting Design and the Outstanding Young College Educator by the Oklahoma Speech Theatre Communication Association.

KCACTF promotes professional standards and provides students and faculty with opportunities to bridge the academic and professional worlds. KCACTF honors achievements in diversity and excellence and encourages experiences in all areas of theatre. Since its inception, KCACTF has given more than 400,000 college theater students the opportunity to have their work critiqued, improve their dramatic skills and receive national recognition for excellence. More than 16 million theatergoers have attended approximately 10,000 festival productions nationwide.

For more information about the festival, click here.