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Theatre department earns top marks at annual festival

Theatre department earns top marks at annual festival
LSC-Kingwood student Christian Peck, left, and Houston Community College-North East student Eduardo Lopez earned the Bill Morton Challenge Award for Acting at the 2016 Play Festival.

The trophy case in the theatre department just got crowded after “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” production, cast and crew earned numerous awards at the 2016 Play Festival.

Lone Star College-Kingwood’s musical earned a superior rating in Overall Production and superior rating in Ensemble Acting. The Play Festival is the annual two-year college festival hosted by the Texas Community College Speech and Theatre Association (TCCSTA). It is the benchmark for excellence in production at the two-year college level.

“I was very happy to receive ‘top marks’ for the production – and thrilled to have so many actors and technicians singled out for their exemplary work!” said Eric Skiles, theatre professor and artistic director of theatre at LSC-Kingwood.

Actors, actresses and stage crew also took home noteworthy awards. Christian Peck, as William Barfeé, earned the Bill Morton Challenge Award for Acting (best actor). In the acting category, Peck and Briana Steptoe, as Olive Ostrovsky, won superior ratings and Daniel Robnett, as Leaf Coneybear, Lauryn Ferguson, as Marcy Park, and Wendy Jones, as Rona Lisa Peretti, earned excellent ratings.

“I was very happy that the production took top honors and that I earned an award for my skills,” said Daniel Robnett, LSC-Kingwood student. “Our show was much less demanding in terms of how far the actors had to dig in order to understand their characters, but it also came with the demands of singing and dancing whilst acting.”

Robnett became interested in theatre in the seventh grade. His interest grew from making friends into an art form that allows him to exercise his perspectives. After LSC-Kingwood, Robnett plans to study creative writing, history and psychology at the University of Houston.

In the technical category, Corey Bischalaney, earned superior in stage management; Marissa Mascolo, earned superior in costume design; and Joshua McElroy earned excellent in sound engineering. Technical awards from the director’s cohort awarded Bischalaney, superior in stage management; McElroy and Rashaad Fowler, superior in sound engineering; Mascolo, superior in costume design; Alli Nauert, superior in assistant lighting design; and Kimberly Dowden, excellent in assistant stage management.

“When the awards were announced, I was stunned and quite literally unable to move for a few seconds,” said Peck, LSC-Kingwood student. “I’ve always loved performing. I was hooked the first time I saw someone smiling while I performed.”

Although Peck loves to perform, his interest became serious when he acted in the college’s production of “Anatomy of Gray” in the fall of 2014. He is studying general education courses and plans to become an English teach to share his love of reading and writing.

LSC-Kingwood’s Theatre Department strives to create high-level, professional-looking productions. It is very demanding of students and expects their work to be “top notch”. Its standards and success are often measured by earning awards at various competitions. In the eight years that the department has attended TCCSTA’s Play Festival, it has earned four superior ratings, two Greg Schneider Memorial awards for technical excellence and two Bill Morton Challenge awards for acting.

“Our goals are to reach out, to perform, to entertain and to teach. We strive to accomplish all four goals in every aspect of the courses we teach and the productions we present to the public,” Skiles said.

The next theatre production is the 10th annual “Evening of Shorts”. It will run April 20-23 at 7:30 p.m. and April 23-24 at 2 p.m. in the college’s Black Box. Tickets are $14 for general admission, $12 for seniors age 55 and older, and $7 for students. For more information on this production or future events, visit www.lonestar.edu/seasons or call 281-312-1532.

Register now for credit classes online through myLoneStar.  Classes are offered days, evenings, or weekends in traditional, Internet, video, TV and independent study formats. For more information on how to register online, visit www.lonestar.edu/registration.

For general information about Lone Star College-Kingwood, call 281.312.1600 or visit http://lonestar.edu/kingwood.htm.

Lone Star College System has been opening doors to a better community for 40 years. Founded in 1973, LSCS remains steadfast in its commitment to student success and credential completion. Today, with 78,000 students in credit classes, and a total enrollment of more than 90,000, Lone Star College System is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and the fastest-growing community college system in the nation. Dr. Stephen C. Head is the chancellor of LSCS, which consists of six colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, LSC-Tomball and LSC-University Park, five centers, LSC-University Center at Montgomery, LSC-University Center at University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.