Theatre UNO's Race Receives Early Recognition

The cast and crew had already received high honors before the curtains closed last week on Theatre UNO’s production of the David Mamet play Raceat the University of New Orleans.

The show ran Tuesday through Sunday, Sept. at UNO's Robert E. Nims Theatre under the direction of UNO Professor of Theatre David Hoover, who is chair of UNO’s Department of Film, Theatre and Communication Arts. Following a successful opening night with a reception honoring UNO alumni, Hoover learned that the performance was resonating in the world of theatre.

The play is one of Theatre UNO’s entries in this year’s Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, a year-long competition of university productions from all over the U.S. Hoover learned last week that Race has been held for consideration for the KCACTF’s Region Six Festival to be held the week of Feb. 26, 2013. 

University productions from around the nation compete in KCACTF, Hoover explained. The final slate of shows will be chosen for a regional festival at a deliberation meeting in December. Region Six is comprised of Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.  Seven shows from the six-state region will be selected.

Three cast members -- Sam Malone, Paxton McCaghren, and John Neisler – also received nominations for Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships from the Kennedy Center, Hoover said. Since 1972, the Irene Ryan Foundation of Encino, Calif., has awarded scholarships to the outstanding student performers at each regional festival, according to the Kennedy Center communications department. The scholarships honor the late Irene Ryan who portrayed the lovable and feisty 'Granny Clampett' in The Beverly Hillbillies. All student actors in both participating and associate productions are eligible for consideration for these $500 regional scholarships.

Ariana Newman, another cast member received a Meritorious Achievement Award for her acting. Meritorious Achievement awards were also presented for Sarah Chatelain (stage management) and Anthonyka Ferdinand (scenic design).

Theatre UNO had already made inroads to high achievement at this year’s Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Theatre UNO’s devised summer theatre workshop entry, Category 4; a S*** Storm, is up for Region Six consideration. Irene Ryan acting awards have been presented to Jenny Billot, Caleigh Keith, and Tim Moseley.

Theatre UNO’s next production, Suicide in the Key of Infomercial, runs Oct. 2-7 in UNO's Lab Theatre.