Students Recognized at Theater Festival

Press Release Photo
FRONT ROW: Leah Greene, Ben Ghrist, Sarah Lyman, Jeremiah Christie BACK ROW: Matthew Reppond, Felicia Parmain, Jim Roohr, Mark Schafer, Snorri Danielsen, Sophie Morris, David Burney.

Siloam Springs, Ark. (November 9, 2005) - The John Brown University’s performance studies department garnered recognition over the weekend of Nov. 5 at the Arkansas American College Theater Festival in Arkadelphia, Ark.

Ten colleges and universities from around the state convened on the campuses of Hendrix University and Ouachita Baptist University to present theatrical productions and be recognized for excellence in various competencies.

JBU’s production of “The Survivor,” a play documenting the lives of nine teenagers in Nazi Poland, received two awards of excellence

The first award was for Excellence in Lobby Design. This award is given to a production that demonstrates strong creative artistry in the lobby area to accentuate the play.

Director Jason Hough and Joel Armstrong, assistant professor of art and design at JBU, collaborated to create a display of black, white, and gray representations of the Holocaust, all created by students in an illustration class.

The second award was for Excellence in Dialect Work. This award is given to a production that demonstrates mastery of a foreign dialect within a play. The entire cast of “The Survivor” had to learn a Polish dialect for the competition.

Two actresses and one actor were also recognized for excellence. Freshman Snorri Danielsen, sophomore Sophie Morris, and junior Leah Greene were selected as contenders for the Irene Ryan competition.

Irene Ryan, better known as “Granny” from the 1960’s hit television show “The Beverly Hillbillies,” dedicated part of her estate to fund a national acting competition. Danielsen, Morris, and Greene will travel to the regional competition next spring, to compete against students from New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas for a scholarship.

“I am very proud of the entire cast and crew,” said Hough. “We have no theater major and no theater facilities, yet we still manage to have successful productions.”

The cast of “The Survivor” included Danielsen, Morris, Greene, freshman Jim Roohr, sophomore Sarah Lyman, sophomore Ben Ghrist, sophomore David Burney, senior Felicia Parmain, senior Matthew Reppond, and senior Mark Schafer. The crew included assistant director senior Jessica Hunsberger, lighting manager freshman Joe Donovan, stage manager junior Jen Heller, stage crew of sophomore Melissa Gute, sophomore Esther Shelden, and sophomore Katie Radaker, and sophomore flautist Jeremiah Christie.

John Brown University is a private Christian university, ranked sixth by U.S. News & World Report in the Southern Region. JBU enrolls more than 1,900 students from 43 states and 40 countries. JBU is a member of Arkansas’ Independent Colleges and Universities and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.

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