The University of Arkansas - Fort Smith will receive awards in seven categories at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival’s national festival slated for April 16-20.
UAFS theatre director Bob Stevenson of Fort Smith and a group of students will receive the awards -- given for the production of “Dromnium” -- in an awards ceremony scheduled for April 20 in Washington, D.C. Stevenson also said that UAFS is winning in more than half of the categories available to UAFS.
“We aren’t even eligible to win in seven of the 18 categories possible, so we won awards in seven of the 11 categories available to us,” said Stevenson, who said UAFS is racking up additional “firsts” this year.
“We’ve never sent anyone to nationals before, so this is a first for us,” he said. “In the past, we have been given some awards from the national selection team, but never have we been given these prestigious awards at the festival, which clearly marks us as one of the four best shows in the nation this year in college theatre.”
UAFS national awards include:
Outstanding Production of a Devised Work.
Distinguished Lead Deviser/Director of a Devised Work: Bob Stevenson.
Outstanding Choreography: Bob Stevenson with Ashley Behm, Ian Miller, Laura Wineland and Joseph Rodriguez-Barbera, all of Fort Smith, Phil Whiteaker of Greenwood; Aron Long, Hoxie; and Stuart Campbell, Longview, Texas.
Outstanding Lighting Design: Hannah Yeager of Booneville.
Distinguished Performance by an Actress: Ashley Behm of Fort Smith.
Outstanding Sound Design: L. J. Luthringer of Fort Smith.
Outstanding Performance and Production Ensemble.
“I can’t wait for Ashley, Hannah and L.J. to get to experience the national festival and attend all the workshops, present their work and get feedback from professionals throughout the field of theatre,” said Stevenson. “This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And I’ll be proud to get on stage and accept the awards for the ‘Drominum’ cast and crew, who made this whole thing possible.”
“Dromnium” was first produced at UAFS in October 2012 and received numerous regional awards in early March. The storyline involves two people who are living in a loveless and monotonous relationship and, while they sleep, they enter into a land of dreams. Stevenson said the name for the acrobatic production actually comes from a Danish word which has a slash mark through the letter "o" and has a meaning related to dreams and dreaming.
Stevenson said the national awards are a testament to what hard work and having a clear goal can achieve.
“UAFS is now on the map as one of the preeminent theatre schools in the nation and a school that is at the head of the new devised theatre movement,” said Stevenson.
Stevenson said “devised theatre movement” refers to a show generated by the cast and crew, instead of being written ahead of time.
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.