Robin Carr, associate professor of voice and acting at the University of Southern Mississippi, is the recipient of Region IV Teaching Artist award by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) for 2009.
Carr is among four others in the Southeast to receive this distinction for having an outstanding reputation and strong history of service to KCACTF. Currently, she serves on the Region IV Selection Team and is president of the Voice and Speech Committee for the Southeastern Theatre Festival. For this award, Carr was nominated by other members of the region for her work in performance studies.
KCACTF is a national theatre program that involves 18,000 student artists to identify and promote quality college-theatre productions.
“This nomination is a clear indication that Robin’s achievements are held in high regard by colleagues on a national level. She’s a terrific representative for our department and our university,” said Louis Rackoff, chairman of the Southern Miss Department of Theatre and Dance.
“She’s a very talented and dedicated teacher and artist who has played an important role in the success of our department, and her contributions to the festival’s educational mission and programming have been very significant.”
Additionally, Carr is eligible to apply for the National Teaching Artist program that funds $2,000 to underwrite tuition, travel, meals or a professional residency in the applicant’s area of discipline.
“It’s an honor to receive this award and apply for a national grant,” Carr said. If awarded the grant, she will present her voice research entitled “Integrating Arthur Lessac’s Vocal System and Tadashi Suzuki’s Movement Training” at The International University Global Theatre Experience Conference this spring in Austria, along with theatre practitioners from all over the world.
Carr teaches undergraduate and graduate voice, speech, dialects and musical theatre courses. She also directs, performs and vocal coaches. “I teach actors how to use their voices clearly and effectively. Everything they learn in class can be immediately applied on the stage.” For instance, in the department’s production of “Hitchcock Blonde,” Carr vocal coached three actors, each with a different dialect.
Sharing credit with the entire Department of Theatre and Dance, Carr said her award gives recognition and substance to the excellence and work of Southern Miss faculty and students. Since coming to Southern Miss in 2002, Carr has directed various productions including “Urinetown,” “Almost, Maine” and “Coyote on A Fence.” She has also vocal and dialect coached more than 15 Southern Miss productions and taught more than 20 undergraduate and graduate courses.
“She encourages her students to constantly keep playing and exploring their work so they can find new and exciting things to develop,” said Chris Marroy, a senior theatre performance major from Slidell, LA. He is currently the teaching assistant for Carr’s Stage Dialects course.
“Outside of class, I have also worked on a total of three shows that she’s directed. She knows that little changes can lead to an impact in your work as a whole. She is very deserving of the award for her high level of dedication not only to teaching, but also commitment to creative collaboration with her students to constantly improve and create new work in theatre.”
In the spring of 2010, Carr looks forward to directing the centennial production of Ragtime in conjunction with the School of Music and the Department of Theatre and Dance. She will be using all her directing and musical theatre skills to tell this inspiring story based on the E. L. Doctorow novel.
To learn more about Carr and the Southern Miss Department of Theatre and Dance, online visit www.usm.edu/theatre
Southern Miss associate professor of voice and acting Robin Carr, left, is the recipient of the Region IV Teaching Artist award by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for 2009. (University Communications photo by Steve Rouse)
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 www.usm.edu.