Speech and Theatre Department wins 7 of 8 awards at national conference

On last week the GSU speech and theatre department added more notches under their belt of accomplishments when they placed in 7 out of 8 categories at the 69th Annual Conference of the National Association of Dramatic and Speech Arts in Memphis, Tenn.

Former Head of speech department, Dr. Allen Williams spent several years working with (NADSA), so out of respect the organizers of the convention honored Williams with “The Allen Williams Play Festival”.

This is the section of the competition where the schools go head to head with plays.

With accomplishments such as these serving as a constant motivation for every student to perform his or her best Department coordinator, Mrs. Thomisina White wasn?t surprise at all at the outcome.

“Grambling always wins at this competition, so I was not at all surprised,” she added “My philosophy going into (NADSA) is we’re not going to lose and we’ve been doing pretty good.”

Teshia L. Lincoln, winner of Costume design and for All-star cast, says that the winning lets her know that the hard work that the department heads and students do is not in vain. “It’s just the essence of winning that makes you feel alive” it’s just like breathing.”

The theme of this year’s conference was “Drama and Activism”: Revisiting the Legacy of Black Theatre. This four day event consisted of various competitions that showcased every category in theater, but most of all it joined students who had the same passion for the arts in one setting.

Seattle native Curtis Arrington enjoyed the competitive aspect of the conference the most. “This trip was educational, informative and enjoyable, but the best part was at the end of all the competitions, friendships were built.”

In agreement with Arrington, Briana Felder, winner for Extemporaneous speaking, said that the love from the other students was very special. “I didn’t expect the other students to be as supportive as they were,” she added, “As soon as we would get off stage from our performance every one would congratulate one another. Even if we didn’t do the best job they were proud of us and that meant the most.”

As an entire unit the department received second place honors for the play, “Colored People’s Time”. They came in second place behind New Yorks’ Albany State.

Assistant Professor Karl Norman said that this competition allowed the students to gain worlds of knowledge from others who are pursuing the same goals as them. “They did very well in every category and this will only make them stronger because they know how to compete now,” said Norman.

Other winners are as followed: Darrick Mosley and June Wilson for Duet Acting, Lauren Weaver for Poetry Interpretation, Lauren Elliott for Prose Interpretation and Curtis Arrington for All Star cast. In the Reader’s theatre competition, the group won top honors with “Courting Tales”. Other students performing in events were Alex Brunson, Peter Wright, Renando Bonner, DeShawn Doby, Courtney Coulton and Ashley Baker.