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Stage Praise

DATE: Thursday, March 5, 2020

HCC Theater Department wins awards for two productions

A scene from Our Town

The Holyoke Community College Theater Department was recognized with three awards at this year's regional Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.

HCC earned awards in the category of "Theatre for Social Change" for its spring 2019 production of "Ugly Lies the Bone," by Lindsey Ferrentino, and another for "Ensemble Work" for its fall 2019 production of the Thornton Wilder classic, "Our Town." 

In addition, HCC theater major Haley Thompson of Westfield won a performance award for her role in "Ugly Lies the Bone" as the mother of the main character, Jess, a war-scarred female soldier returning home. 

The awards were announced at the end of the KCACTF Region I festival, which was held at Cape Cod Community College Jan. 28-Feb. 1. Sixteen students and two HCC theater faculty members attended the festival and were there to accept the awards. 

"It's wonderful to have our students recognized by the Kennedy Center for their outstanding accomplishments in all aspects of theater," said HCC theater professor Patricia Sandoval, who directed "Our Town." "I'm especially proud of the award for 'Ensemble Work' because that is for collaboration, and working together is really the essence of theater."

KCACTF Region I includes colleges and universities in northern New York and all six New England states. Awards are based on the recommendations of respondents, who travel around the country to view college theater productions and offer critiques. 

"We are extremely proud of the hard work our students and staff put in to pull these performances together throughout the year," said HCC theater professor Tim Cochran, who directed "Ugly Lies the Bone." "The Kennedy Center people sure seem to like what we're doing here at HCC given that our program continues to garner a lot of recognition."  I

In the past eight years, the HCC Theater Department has won 11 KCACTF awards for individual acting, ensemble acting, dedication to a script, stage managing, and best original music, among others. 

The HCC Theater Department puts on two full stage productions each academic year, one in the fall and one in the spring. HCC students take part in the annual alumni-sponsored 24-Hour Theater Festival in September, a festival of one-act plays in the spring, and No Shame Theater, where students gather once a month to write, rehearse and perform short plays in one night. 

Rehearsals are now underway for the HCC Theater Department's spring 2020 production of the classic Greek tragedy "Antigone," by Sophocles. The show, directed by HCC theater alumna Denise Boutin '77, will be presented in HCC's Leslie Phillips Theater April 16-18.

PHOTO by CHRIS YURKO: HCC student-actors Caleb Curd, Jayda Aponte and Brandon Rodriguez in a scene from HCC's fall 2019 theater production, Our Town.