The cast and crew will now submit highlight DVDs for both plays to festival judges for possible national awards. Results will be known in December.
The theatre program earned three major awards and six students earned Irene Ryan Acting Awards and will compete individually at regional competition in Amarillo.
Boxcar received the Director’s Choice Award and the Critic’s Choice Award while Las Cartas won the Committee’s Choice Award.
Irene Ryan Acting Awards went to Boxcar and Las Cartas cast members. Boxcar award winners were Jose “Buddy” Trevino, a senior marketing major from Kingsville; Marcus Perez, a sophomore English major from Bishop; and Myles Martinez, a sophomore theatre major from San Antonio. Las Cartas award winners were Cassandra Clarke, a senior theatre major from Three Rivers; Amanda Soto, a sophomore theatre major from Hackensack, New Jersey; and Leah Luna, a junior theatre major from Del Rio.
Students receiving other awards included Victoria Gonzales, a sophomore communications major from Hidalgo and Judith Garza, a senior biology major from Georgetown, for Acting Achievement; Katie Desiderio, a sophomore theatre arts and communication major from Kingsville, earned two Sound Awards; Michelle Flores, a sophomore theatre major from Alice, Betsy Wallek, a senior communications major from Ben Bolt and Christian Acevedo, a sophomore theatre major from San Benito, earned Playwriting Awards; Corey Ranson, assistant professor and theater director, earned Excellence in Directing; and Zachary Haass, a freshman biomedical sciences major from Houston, was awarded Honor Crew.
Flores, Wallek and Acevedo wrote Las Cartas with assistance from Ranson. It tells the story of Latinas in World War II. Its production was made possible through the Hispanic Playwriting Initiative. Boxcar tells the story of a group of immigrants in search of a better life in the United States, only to have their journey of hope end in tragedy.
Ranson said the awards increase the chances of both pieces moving on to regional competition in Amarillo. “They did really well. I am proud of them for the awards they deserved,” he said.
“I am extremely happy to have been able to take part in the Hispanic Playwriting Initiative Project,” said Wallek who helped write Las Cartas. “It is an amazing feeling to watch something you’ve worked on do so well.
Trevino, who portrayed a Hispanic border patrol agent in Boxcar, agreed. “Mr. Ranson told us we would be surprised about how good we would be in comparison to our earlier performances, but I had no doubts about our performance at all,” Trevino said. “We have a good show and a good cast.”
“I feel confident that at least one of our shows will move on to Amarillo,” said Clarke, who along with Trevino mentioned that students from other schools talked about the closeness of the Kingsville group.
“It feels good to be recognized by other schools and being told we did a great job,” Flores said.
For more information on the theatre program at Texas A&M-Kingsville, call 361-593-3401.