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Contact: Bob Buseick, Marjorie Lyons Playhouse, 318-869-5242, or
Lynn Stewart, Centenary News Service, 318-869-5120

Committee of Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Selects Centenary Production Among 7 for Regional Festival

SHREVEPORT, LA—The Region VI committee of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival has selected Centenary College’s production of The Beauty Queen of Leenane as one of seven productions to be presented at the regional festival. The festival will be held at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville during the festival week, Feb. 25 – 28, 2004.

In addition to Centenary’s selection, other plays were selected from Trinity Valley Community College, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, University of Texas-El Paso, Angelo State University, University of Central Oklahoma and Sam Houston State University.

At the Louisiana State KCACTF festival held in October, Centenary’s production of The Beauty Queen of Leenane received the following awards: Critic’s Choice Best Production; Director’s Choice Best Production; Robert Buseick, directing; Don Hooper, set and light design; Patric McWilliams, costume and sound design; Jodi Glorioso, vocal coaching, and Ashley Beckham, stage management. Anysia Manthos, Phillip Brooks and Joshua Porter received Irene Ryan Acting Awards and they will compete at the regional level in February.

The Centenary Theatre Department will present a fundraising performance at the Marjorie Lyons Playhouse on Saturday, Feb. 21 at 8 p.m. with tickets priced at $15 for adults, $13 for senior citizens and $10 for students.

Set in the mountains of Connemara, County Galway, The Beauty Queen of Leenane tells the darkly comic story of Maureen Folan, a plain and lonely woman, and Mag, her manipulative and self-centered mother. Maureen has encountered her first, and possibly final, chance at a loving relationship. However, her mother’s interference sets off a train of events, which lead to tragic consequences and the eventual freedom of Maureen from her life of oppression.

Candace Higgenbotham plays Mag. She received a Times Drama Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in A Lovely Sunday for Creve Couer and received TDA nominations for her performances in Oliver!, On Golden Pond, Fiddler on the Roof, Dancing at Lughnasa and Steel Magnolias. She has recently appeared in productions of Prides Crossing and Electra at Marjorie Lyons Playhouse.

Anysia Manthos plays Maureen. She is a junior theatre major at Centenary and has appeared at MLP in productions of The Bat, Winnie the Pooh, Keely & Du, Electra, Wit, and most recently, Women Behind Bars. She has received two Rivertown Players Award nominations and an Irene Ryan Acting Award for her performance in The Beauty Queen of Leenane.

Phillip Jordan Brooks plays Pato Dooley, the possible suitor for Maureen. He received a Memory Award nomination for his performance in The Shape of Things and an Irene Ryan Acting Award for his work in The Beauty Queen of Leenane. He is a film studies major at Centenary where he has appeared in productions of 1776, Noises Off, The Bat, The Wayside Motor Inn and Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon.

Joshua Porter plays Ray Dooley, Pato’s younger brother. Porter is a senior theatre major and will finish his studies at Centenary in December. He has been nominated for a Memory Award for his performance in THE SHAPE OF THINGS and has won three Rivertown Players Awards and a TDA nomination for his performance in Grant Hotel. He received an Irene Ryan Acting Award for his performance in The Beauty Queen of Leenane. Other productions at MLP include, 1776, Noises Off, The Bat, The Wayside Motor Inn, Electra, Cabaret and As Bees in Honey Drown.

Robert Buseick directs The Beauty Queen of Leenane, with set and light design by Don Hooper, and costume and sound design by Patric McWilliams.

The stage manager is Ashley Beckham, sound technician is Adam Boyd and properties are by Laura Beth Sentell and Sarah Perkins.

About The Beauty Queen of Leenane, The New Republic wrote:“…The Beauty Queen of Leenane…is clearly the product of a major writer. Indeed, on the basis of this play alone, I am willing to make the rash claim that McDonagh is destined to be one of the theatrical luminaries of the 21st Century” The New Republic

The Beauty Queen of Leenane was winner of the Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critic Circle Awards, and co-winner of the 1998 Lucille Lortel Award. The New York production was winner of four Tony Awards.

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