The Panola College production of “The Oresteia” might be advancing to the next stage in theater competition.
The production was held for regional consideration at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre State Festival, which took place at Panola College Nov. 6-8. Being held means that their production is one of the productions in the running to be chosen to perform at regional.
Panola College Drama Professor Karen King said they will find out in December whether or not they are going to the regional competition.
“Being held’s a real big deal,” King said. “It’s a five-state region, so that includes New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas, and they choose anywhere from six to seven productions to go to the regional.”
Hosting the festival was a lot of hard work, and King said that it was an exhausting week, but they had a good time.
“It always helps to be able to, first of all, host a festival and work with different directors and different companies,” King said. “It expands and enlightens their educational experience, especially in the role of theater. But it also expands our common humanity so that when we look at different plays, and we watch and hear different voices culturally from different points of view, it allows us to understand and have more empathy for our fellow human beings.”
The production also won the Kennedy Centers American College Theatre Festival Texas Respondent’s Choice award at the State Festival, King said, and Panola College students won 22 individual awards ranging from Tech Support, Festival Hosting, Hospitality and Technical direction to three Irene Ryan Acting awards, Dramaturgy, three awards in Costuming and the entire cast and crew awarded for Best Storytelling.
They ended up with 27 commendations.
“I loved it,” King said. “I’m exhausted, like I said, but I loved it. It’s a great honor for us to be a held production from a junior college, and it’s also to be able to have the experience of having someone respond and give you criticism and listen to that, know how you can grow and learn. I mean no matter how old you are, you always learn something, and so that’s always a very good experience to use and put in your toolbox.”