Panola College’s student production of Dearly Departed received national recognition at the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival, the school announced this week.

Dearly Departed was performed as the college theater department’s fall dinner theater production and was submitted virtually to the festival.

A total of 23 students earned awards, including Meritorious Achievement in Outstanding Acting Ensemble, Meritorious Achievement in Outstanding Costume Design, Meritorious Achievement in Outstanding Scenic Design and three Irene Ryan Acting nominations.

“I am so pleased with the awards that our students received from the Kennedy Center,” said Karen King, the Professor of Drama at Panola College. “Winning the ensemble award is really something special — it means every single student in the play won a certificate.”

Those receiving the Meritorious Achievement in Outstanding Acting Ensemble award were: Riley Morgan as Bud Turpin; Sarolyn Musick as Raynelle; Maverick Jackson as Ray-Bud; Leah Simmons as Lucille; Dawson Windham as Junior; Emily Wheeler as Suzanne; Talaya Jones as Aunt Marguerite; Omar Rios as Royce; Allie Endsley as Delightful; Jacob Phillips as Rev. Hooker; Seth Sanders as Norval; Abigail McCalister as Veda/Nadine; Caleb Ridgeway as Clyde; Carli Morton as Juanita; Jaedon Lewis as Joy of Life Singers Group Leader; and Leland Parker, Kaleb Ward, Gerardo Salgado, Ryan Ballard, Dylan Essery, Caden Worley as Joy of Life Singers/Transition.

Laura Eddings received the Meritorious Achievement in Outstanding Costume Desin, while Katy Chance received the Meritorious Achievement in Outstanding Scenic Design.

Irene Ryan Acting Nominations went to Talaya Jones as Aunt Marguerite; Sarolyn Musick as Raynelle; and Caleb Ridgeway as Clyde.

Theater students will next collaborate with the Stephen F. Austin State University Drama Department on Ajax in Iraq, to be performed Nov. 8-13 at the Community House in Center.

The collaborative show will also be submitted to the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival, the school said.

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