Six Panola College theater students won awards at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) at Angelo State University on Oct. 27. These include Allyssa Woods and Maelbi Caeldron, both for Meritorious Achievement in dramaturgy; and Lacie Sepulvado for Meritorious Achievement in Costume Design.
Three actors won the Irene Ryan Acting Award: Nathaniel Endsley, Sarah Funderburk and Katt Smith. “Only six Meritorious Achievement awards were given at the State Festival, and Panola College students garnered three of them,” said Karen King, Panola College Drama Professor.
The Panola cast and crew presented “Flyer,” a play written by Kate Aspengren. The story is based on the Mercury 13 women who passed the physical examinations developed for NASA’s astronaut selection process. The majority of the action takes place in the early 1960’s in and around the Lovelace Foundation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Lovelace’s Woman in Space Program was a short-lived, privately funded project testing women pilots for astronaut fitness in the early 1960’s. Although nothing concrete resulted, the women who participated have since been recognized as trailblazers, whose ambitions to fly the newest and the fastest craft led them to be among the first American women to gain access to sophisticated aerospace medical tests.
The Kennedy Center American College Theater is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide. The KCACTF has grown into a network of more than 600 academic institutions throughout the country, where theater departments and student artists showcase their work and receive outside assessment by KCACTF respondents.
Cast included Sarah Funderburk, Katt Smith, Zach Holmes, Jasmine Ryan, Nathaniel Endsley, Yancy Flores, Tailer Chong, Ashlynn Stamps, Julian Johnson, Kayla Brimer, Emmalee Tomaszewski, Jessica Bailey, Edward McMillian, Kayla Featherston, Quay Rice, Joseph Allred, Big Mak Lindsey, Angel Hubble and Dustin Bennett.
Crew included Allyssa Woods, Maelbi Calderon, Big Mak Lindsey, Kassandra Escobar, Enoiola Sogsbean, Kacie Sepulvado, Lacie Sepulvado, Julia Prewitt, Brandon Castillo, KeKe Woodson, Glitch Smith, Christina Patterson, Kennedy Udumukwu, Leonard Maxwell, and Katy Chance.
Award winners include, from left, Maelbi Calderon, Allyssa Woods, Lacie Sepulvado, Nathaniel Endsley and Sarah Funderburk. (Not pictured: Katt Smith.)