Students from Oklahoma Baptist University’s theatre department were recently featured at the Region VI Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) in Abilene, Texas. The KCACTF is a national theatre program dedicated to the improvement of collegiate theatre in the United States. Focused on the celebration of diverse and exciting theatre, KCACTF involves students from more than 600 colleges and universities throughout the United States.

Matthew Caron, assistant professor of theatre and director of theatre, and Jake Yenish, assistant professor of theatre and design technician, led a group of eight OBU students to the festival which was held Feb. 24-Mar. 1, 2019.

Chase Hendrickson, senior, and scene partner Caleb Frank, junior, were nominated to compete in the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Audition for their roles in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Grant McGee, junior, and scene partner Anna Tyler, senior, were likewise nominated for their roles in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” McGee and Tyler advanced to the semifinal round.

Additionally, Emili Ramos, sophomore, competed in the stage management competition with her work from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Emma Greathouse, freshman, received recognition for her service to the festival as part of the honor crew.

Kendra Johnson, junior, was awarded the top prize in the region for the Institute of Theatre Journalism and Advocacy. She now advances to the next phase of selection where she could earn a trip to the National Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Four students auditioned for the Musical Theatre Initiative for a chance to win a scholarship to the Open Jar Institute in New York City. The students included Frank, Hendrickson, Tyler and Brianna Lincoln, senior. Frank was awarded second runner up in the region.

Caron also participated as an Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship respondent and served on the Region VI planning committee as vice chair of Oklahoma.

OBU Theatre’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” was honored with five meritorious achievement awards in directing (Caron), stage management (Ramos), lighting design (Yenish), costume design (Alyssa Couturier) and scenic design (Scott Roberts, class of 2018).

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With its campus located in Shawnee, OBU offers 10 bachelor’s degrees with 88 fields of study and five master’s degree programs. The Christian liberal arts university has an overall enrollment of 2,011, with students from 37 states and 40 other countries. OBU has been rated as one of the top 10 regional colleges in the West by U.S. News and World Report for 27 consecutive years and has been Oklahoma’s highest rated regional college in the U.S. News rankings for 25 consecutive years. OBU is one of three universities in Oklahoma and the only private Oklahoma university listed on Great Value College’s rankings of 50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest. The Wall Street Journal ranks OBU second in the nation for student engagement among all U.S. colleges and universities. consistently ranks OBU as a top university in Oklahoma and the Princeton Review has named OBU one of the best colleges and universities in the western United States for 14 consecutive years.