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Record-Breaking Attendance Marks High School Drama Festival at Southern Miss PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Contact Vanessa Molden - 601.266.4198   

A record-breaking 749 students, teachers and observers representing 20 schools from across south Mississippi recently participated in the South Mississippi Regional High School Drama Festival held on The University of Southern Mississippi campus in Hattiesburg.

“The festival is a celebration of theatre in Southern Mississippi. It is always a pleasure to be a part of this festival because I know it enriches the lives of so many and allows students to be exposed to our wonderful university,” said Robin Carr, festival director and associate professor, Southern Miss Theatre and Dance.

Local schools advancing to state level competition are Oak Grove High School who performed The Honorable Urashima Taro and Laurel Christian School who performed All in the Timing. Other south Mississippi schools that are advancing are:
• Hancock High School, Much Ado about Nothing
• Pearl River Central High School, Cave of the Dragon’s Teeth
• Biloxi High School, The Gift of Tenyin

According to Stephen Cunetto of Mississippi Theatre Association, this is the first time that five schools from a single region have advanced to the state festival. 

In addition to advancing to the state level competitions, Oak Grove High School and Laurel Christian School walked away with individual awards. Oak Grove won the Ensemble Acting and Technical Achievement awards. Laurel Christian School’s Chris Wooten won the Outstanding Direction award, while Hunter Chancellor received the Best Actor honor. Other award winners were

• Ocean Springs High School-Festival Spirit Award
• Biloxi High School-Best Scenic Design
• Pearl River Central High School-Best Costume Design and Glen Menna Overall Theatrical Experience
• Picayune High School-Peer Choice Award
• Stephanie Beverly, Mississippi School for the Arts-Best Actress
• Aubrey Hays, WINGS-Best Supporting Actress
• Jonathon Necaise, Hancock High School-Best Supporting Actor

“The festival was a great way to bring prospective students to our campus. The festival is a fantastic learning experience,” said Andreas Palmer, coordinator for the festival. “The students worked very hard and were excited to perform their plays on stage at the university”

The festival is a collaboration between MTA and Southern Miss’s Department of Theatre and Dance and Office of Professional Development and Educational Outreach. For more information, or to participate in the upcoming festival, contact the Southern Miss Office of Professional Development and Educational Outreach at 601.266.4186.

About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities.  In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world.  Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at

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