Magnolias earns award nominations for Theater students

The work of Northeast State Theater students continues to catch the eye of theater professionals with this fall’s production of Steel Magnolias.

The play earned actors and crew nominations to the Region IV Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) that recognizes the best theater work of colleges in the Southeast.

“I am incredibly proud of all of our theater students,” said Brad McKenzie, director of Magnolias and Technical Director of Northeast State Theater. “The reputation for excellence of Northeast State’s Theater department continues to grow.”

Students Caitlyn Haltom and Shelby Minogue earned Irene Ryan acting nominations. Haltom played M’Lynn and Minogue portrayed Shelby, respectively. A second-year student and Theater major, Haltom has performed in the productions of The Odyssey Abridged, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and I, Ebenezer at Northeast State. A first-year student, Minogue found her love of acting in high school performing productions of Xanadu, Check Please, and Daddy’s Girl.

Steel Magnolias Northeast State Nov. 1 2015. Photos by David Grace
(From left) Shelby (Shelby Minogue) and M’Lynn (Caitlin Haltom) earned Irene Ryan award nominations for acting.

Other students receiving nominations for Magnolias are: Sommer Hughes in the category of Scenic Design, Ashley Guy and Jessica Richardson for Costume Design, and Dustin Lawson for Stage Management.

Costume designer Guy and assistant designer Richardson sketched out costume ideas and searched out vintage clothing matching the character’s personality and pairing it with 1980s fashion trends. They designated each character with a thematic color that represented her personality. A Theater major and veteran of several NST productions, Guy was a costume designer and portrayed Tiny Tim in Ebenezer. Richardson is also a Theater major who did her first production work on Magnolias.

Hughes used her carpentry skills to build the beauty shop where all the play’s action takes place. She found reclaimed beauty salon chairs to create the right detail and look for the set. Her past work includes scenic design on The Laramie Project.

Lawson is a Theater major at ETSU and recent graduate of Northeast State. He previously earned KCACTF nominations in hair and makeup design for his work in Ebenezer and production design for Laramie. He performed on stage in the Northeast State productions of Laramie, and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Aaron Musselwhite earned a nomination for Sound Design. Mussel white performed on stage in previous NST productions of Ebenezer and Laramie before taking on sound design job.

Steel Magnolias Northeast State Nov. 1 2015. Photos by David Grace
The play’s exquisite costuming, scene design, and stage management were recognized by the KCACTF.

A proctor from Region IV attended performances of Magnolias during its run this fall. The play’s quality was graded and then considered for nominations to the regional competition. All nominees will present their work at the Region IV festival in February featuring the best work of theater students from colleges and universities throughout the Southeast. With multiple nominations and awards in recent years, Northeast State Theater students continue to earn accolades for their work by the theater professionals from around the region.

The KCACTF Regional Festival gives each nominee display space to exhibit his or her work. Judges review the student’s specific work as it fits into the overall production. Magnolias was one of three modern theater classics the Theater Department scheduled for the 2015-16 academic year. David Mamet’s American Buffalo was staged in November and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest opens April 7 during the spring semester.

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