Two Northwestern students compete in regional speech competition

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Two Northwestern students compete in regional speech competition

March 27, 2009

Two Northwestern Oklahoma State University students competed in the regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) competition at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, recently.

Charlie Burns, Sayre junior, and Lisa Bradt, Alva senior, received Irene Ryan nominations for their performances in “The Curious Savage,” which the theatre program presented in the fall. The two were invited to compete for the Irene Ryan award at Regional competition. Unfortunately, neither student made it past the first round, but after speaking with other faculty members at the competition, they determined the Northwestern program was on the right track.

“We both thought we gave the best performance possible and that we held our ground against the other competition,” Burns said. “I was still a bit disappointed, but being the first Irene Ryan nominees to compete from Northwestern was enough to satisfy me.”

Burns also was awarded an honorable mention in graphic design and promotion for his publicity of “The Curious Savage.”

“I was very surprised,” Burns said. “Honorable mention was not given away in every category.”

Kimberly Weast, associate professor of theatre, said that she was impressed with Burns and that he beat students in programs that have much larger budgets than Northwestern does.

“His recognition not only states how talented he is, but also the excellent instruction that he has received from Melanie Wilderman (instructor of mass communications),” Weast said. “I told Melanie she should be very proud.”

Overall, eight students including Bradt and Burns attended the regional competition. The other students included Ashlynn Walker, Perryton, Texas, sophomore; Erin Cheney, Fresno, Calif., junior; Kasey Russell, Texhoma sophomore; Thomas McDevitt, Alva sophomore; and Tyler Shafer, Alva freshman. They saw several productions by other colleges and attended workshops put on by KCACTF.

“The trip was very educational; I definitely expanded my literature repertoire,” Burns said. “The overall trip was a success and was lots of fun.”

The group already is beginning to brainstorm on what it will do next year when the competition moves to Amarillo.

“I’m thrilled,” Weast said. “We only have a five to six hour drive versus 14 hours.”