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Theater to perform in Kennedy Center regionals

The+creative+and+dramatic+stage+settings+enhance+the+Panola+College+theatrical+production.
The creative and dramatic stage settings enhance the Panola College theatrical production.

The creative and dramatic stage settings enhance the Panola College theatrical production.

Photo Courtesy - Katy Chance

Photo Courtesy - Katy Chance

The creative and dramatic stage settings enhance the Panola College theatrical production.

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Panola College Theater students will take their show on the road March 1-4 when they perform “Kabuki Lady Macbeth” at The Kennedy Center American College Theater Regional Festival at Angelo State University in San Angelo. The invitation to this elite event was extended after the production won 17 awards at the KCACTF Texas State Festival in October, according to Freddy Mason, Dean of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

In preparation for the regional competition, the theatre department will perform the play at 6 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 23 (doors open at 5:45), and at 7 p.m., Friday, Feb. 24 (doors open at 6:45), in the Q.M. Martin Auditorium on the Panola College Campus. Panola College family and local high school students will be admitted free. Adults are invited to make a donation to this fundraising event to assist with the travel and lodging expenses for the theater students’ trip to San Angelo for the regional competition.

Region 6 encompasses five states: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. Being invited as a showcase event for the regional festival is quite an honor, says Karen King, professor of theater.

“Of all the plays performed at state, only two were selected for the regional festival. The region consists of more than 350 participating productions, and Panola was one of 18-25 other schools in the running to represent the region. I am thrilled that we have received this recognition,” King says.

“Kabuki Lady Macbeth” was written by Karen Sunde, and is an eastern take on Shakespeare’s famous tale of ambition and murder. The production mixes eastern style theater with western traditions. At the Texas State Festival, Panola garnered the Respondents and Director’s awards. Earning nominations for the Irene Ryan Acting Award were Panola College student actors Sara Trahan, Julian Johnson and Joseph Allred.

Other awards from the state festival include Nikki Lawhorn and Tristan Smith for dramaturgy; KiKi Woodson for make-up and hair design; Shannon Henshaw for make-up and mask design; Tristan Smith for scenic design; Kylee Flanary for lighting design; Emily Jolly for prop design; Laci Sepulvado for costume design; Wyatt Windham for performance; and Braden Wood for sound design. The entire cast and crew won the ensemble award, and Karen King, professor of theater, won the directing award.

The Region 6 festival will showcase Tarrant County College-Southeast, the University of New Orleans, Texas Wesleyan University, and West Texas A&M University, along with the showcase production by Panola College.

“The showcase production was chosen by the regional committee because of the quality of the total body of work. We are an invited production, but with the word ‘showcase’ added to the title. This is a higher level of the regular theater competition and affords students the opportunity to display their work,” King says.

The next level of performance after regionals would be an all-expenses-paid trip to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in April to attend the national festival. Students are also eligible for cash awards, scholarships, and honors from the organization.

Performance times are not set yet, but King says “Kabuki Lady Macbeth” will be performed twice on Friday, March 3. Participating students will also compete in design, dramaturgy, and acting, along with attending workshops and other productions. Saturday, March 4, all participating students will have networking opportunities to meet with recruiters from colleges and universities.

Cast includes Wyatt Windham, Emmalee Tomaszweski, Kayla Featherston, Sarah Funderburk, Sarah Trahan, Kyndall Branton, Joseph Allred, Julian Johnson, Jaramie Martin, Caleb Wilson, Yancy Flores, Cameron Johnson, Chris Caudle, Allan Avendano, Christina Patterson, Keely Armstrong, Kassandra Escobar, Enolia Snogsbiean, and Jayne Fuller.

Crew members include Nikki Lawhorn, Tristan Smith, Lacie Sepulvado, Big MaK Lindsey, Taylor Ries, Julia Prewitt, Caleb Wilson, Kylee Flanary, KiKi Woodson, Jayne Fuller, Emily Jolly, T. Loftis, Dallas O’Donnell, Chris Caudle, Amanda Nachman, Allyssa Woods, Jessica Smith, Jessie Smith, Little Wyatt, Brandon Castillo, Leonard Maxwell, and Wyatt Williams.

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Theater to perform in Kennedy Center regionals