Theater groups win awards at state festival
SUN HERALD - February 1, 2006


Nine awards for performances by individuals and groups from the Coat were presented during the Mississippi Theatre Association’s 50th festival Jan. 12-15 at Mississippi State University. Professionals critiqued performances by groups from around the state and awarded prizes in varied categories.


Several area theater groups participated in the festival and won awards.


Award recipients from Biloxi High School were Chris Dunnells, all-star cast; Lindsey Bristol, second place in female monologue; Christine Lopez, best director for the 10-minute drama; Erin Hurry, best actress (tie) for the 10-minute drama.


Winners from Hancock High School were Cody Jarrell, all-star cast, and Carley Beesley, best actress.


Members of the WINGS performing arts group from the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center in Gulfport were Arden Jenner, first place in poster design; Audrey Kim, best assistant director/technical for the 10-minute comedy, and Rachel Williams, best actress for the 10-minute drama (tie).


The Perk Players from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Perkinston Campus and Gulfport Little Theatre participated in the Theatre for Youth event.


MTA Executive Director Stephen Cunetto said more then 500 people participated in the festival this year.


During the festival, two prominent Mississippians shared their experiences with festival participants about life in the theater business.


Sam Haskell III, former worldwide head of television for the William Morris Agency in Los Angeles and past award winner at the high school festival, advised young people to listen to their teachers and develop healthy relationships as they progress through life.


Professional costume designer and Charleston, Miss., resident Myrna Colley-Lee talked about how she looks for inspiration as she creates costumes, sets and other artistic endeavors. She also shared her thoughts about the theater business through a question-and-answer time.


Hattiesburg High School won first place in the high school division and Delta Center Stage of Greenville received top honors in the community theater division. By winning first place, the two groups will advance to the Southeastern Theatre Conference in Orlando this March.


A complete list of festival results is available on the MTA Web site at