Metropolitan State theater program recognized with national award

Theater Award - Play

Metropolitan State student Sarah Dewhirst presented a production of her original work at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. recently. “My Soul and Other Broken Things,” a play written by Dewhirst and produced by the theater program, was one of seven plays selected for a regional festival before being recognized by the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF).

At the event involving 18,000 students from U.S. colleges and universities, Metropolitan State’s theater program received the national award for Outstanding Production of a New Work, along with distinction for ensemble work, directing, scenic design, lighting and sound. The KCACTF honors excellence of overall production and offers student artists individual recognition through awards and scholarships in playwriting, acting, criticism, directing and design.

“My Soul and Other Broken Things” began as work done in Dewhirst’s playwriting classes and was further developed in rewrites and workshops with faculty directors. The play traces the coming of age story of Sephora, a young woman who returns to her Christian fundamentalist home to search for her estranged mother.

Dewhirst accepts Outstanding Achievement Award
Dewhirst accepts Outstanding Achievement Award

Students in Metropolitan State’s theater program explore the foundation of personal experience through playwriting classes, workshops and the insight of industry professionals. The program, offered as the final two years of a theater major for transferring students, helps students develop their artistic voice and introduces them to the theater rich community of the Twin Cities.

Alumni of the program have gone on to work in local and international theater communities in production, acting, writing and directing. Students have also used their theater degree to pursue education, speech therapy, communications and marketing.

For more information about the program contact Gail Smogard, program director and theater professor, at gail.smogard@metrostate.edu.