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'Laramie Project' Has Success

Actors portray the beginning of the story of Matthew Shepard, a victim of a hate crime in Laramie, Wyo.
The SHSU Department of Theatre's production of "The Laramie Project" has won the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival Region VI Directors Choice Award, and has been recommended to the five-state regional committee for consideration of advancement to the next level.

The production, directed by Penelope Hasekoester, assistant professor, opened the 2002-03 season for the SHSU Department of Theatre and Dance.

The recommendation was made following a performance of "The Laramie Project" at the Region VI Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival held at Texas A&M Commerce. The Committee will meet in early December to review recommendations from eight similar festivals in other parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and New Mexico.

"The Department of Theatre at SHSU is delighted to have been chosen to receive the Directors' Choice Award at the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival held at A&M Commerce in October," said Hasekoester. "We are very pleased to have been advanced to the next level for consideration to have 'The Laramie Project' perform in the regional festival in February 2003."

Members of the theatre department recently participated in the festival, including more than 20 SHSU theatre and musical theatre students. The students attended eight full-length productions, workshops, forums and critiques of all shows.

Students Spencer Plachy, Sofia Gomez and Chelsea Fry were nominated for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Irene Ryan Scholarship Award. These students will now compete with scenes with monologues at the regional competition at the Scott Theatre in Fort Worth in February.

Special awards were given to Joel McDonald, who received an award for "Excellence in Acting," Crys McDonald, who received the "Excellence in Stage Management Award" and Kevin Crouch, who received an award for "Excellence in Video Effects."

The festival is a year-round program in eight geographic regions in the U.S., with participation by more than 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide. The festival honors excellence of overall production and offers student artists individual recognition through awards and scholarships in playwriting, acting, criticism, directing and design.

The ultimate goal for participating in college or universities is to be recommended for the National Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Sam Houston State University is now participating in level two of the festival competition.

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SHSU Media Contact: Brandon Autrey
Nov. 11, 2002
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