Taking the stage once again at the National Association of Dramatic and Speech Arts (NADSA), the John McLinn Ross Players of the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff took home six awards and a phenomenal learning experience.
The awards consisted of Oral Interpretation of Poetry, Persuasive Speaking, Dramatic Monologue, Set Design, Reader’s Theatre, and Playwright. Individual awards were also given to Ebonee Workcuff for Set Design, Justice Hinton for Dramatic Monologue, and Alexandria Pettus for Oral Interpretation in Poetry. Being the only gentleman representing, theatre student Marcus Bowman didn’t let that stop him as he won in both Persuasive Speaking and Playwriting.
“It was a breathtaking experience,” Bowman said as he talked about his experience at NADSA. “Being in an area with individuals who share the same love for theatre as I do was amazing – especially with [this] being my first year there. I definitely wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
While they came back with many awards, everyone was forever grateful for the opportunity, and they were even more grateful for having the theatre director Angela Newkirk nurture them into greatness with precise critique and loving support.
“The judging was tough!” Bowman said. “They made sure they didn’t miss a beat whether it was our projection, our movement or even what we wore! But I took everything in with pride, because they wanted the best from all of us and expect us to do even better next year.”
When asked if he was expecting to do the NADSA conference next year, he said with a smile on his face, “Of course! Coming home with awards and making network connections was great, but next year I will definitely come back stronger than ever!”
UAPB student Justice Hinton also served as a panelist for the student Symposium. “I stepped out of my [comfort] zone to voice my opinion on the culture of theatre today and was extremely excited about representing my University.”
The students were accompanied by Theatre Instructor Angela Griffith-Newkirk who was also a presenter at the Conference Symposium as well as the Mistress of Ceremony for the Awards Banquet held on Saturday night.
NADSA was founded in 1936, and is a professional affiliation of performers, administrators, educators, students, technicians, and craftsman of theatre, communicative arts, and allied areas of interests.
For more information about the John McLinn Ross Players at UAPB, contact Angela Griffith-Newkirk at (870) 575-8428.