The Woodward News

Local News

July 15, 2014

OnStage Woodward receives top awards

Woodward, Okla. — A local theatre company recently received several top awards at a statewide contest.

OnStage Woodward was recognized for its production of "Graceland" and "Asleep on the Wind" at the Oklahoma Community Theatre Association's OCTAFest competition, held in Duncan July 10-13.

During an awards ceremony to wrap up the festival on Sunday, July 13, Woodward received 3 technical awards for best set in "Asleep on the Wind," best lighting in "Asleep on the Wind," and outstanding technical crew overall.

In addition, actors Greg Nuse and Sara Acosta, who portrayed brother and sister in "Asleep on the Wind," received individual trophies for outstanding acting performances.

The production as a whole was then named as one of 2 "Outstanding Productions"  from the festival, receiving a plaque, traveling trophy and the honor of advancing to a regional competition to be held in Albuquerque, N.M., in April 2015.

The Woodward group competed against 6 other community theatre companies from around the state including Broken Arrow, Duncan, Elk City, Lawton, Shawnee, and Stillwater.

The Shawnee Little Theatre was the second recipient of the "Outstanding Production" award and will also be taking their production of "Gidion's Knot" to Albuquerque next spring.

In addition to representing Oklahoma at the regional contest, both OnStage Woodward and Shawnee Little Theatre will be competing against productions from Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, and New Mexico for a chance to advance to a national contest sponsored by the American Association of Community Theatre.

This was the first time for OnStage Woodward to participate in the OCTAFest competition.

"We are overwhelmed to be chosen as one of the participating community theatres to move on to the regional competition in Albuquerque," said Charlie Burns, who directed the Woodward plays.

"In addition to being chosen as an outstanding production overall, I think it's important to honor our crew and our 2 actors that received awards as well," Burns said.  "It's not often that crew members are recognized for their hard work.  And these awards have proven that Woodward has some of the best talent both on stage and back stage."

Glenn Dorr, president of OnStage Woodward, said that, as director, Burns was to be congratulated along with the cast and crew.

"I want to extend my greatest respect and appreciation to our director, Charlie Burns, and to the 4 actors in the show because I know they all put in hours and hours of work and preparation for this," Dorr said.  "I also extend my respect and appreciation to all the people who put in work on the sets to create a believable situation for these plays to take place.  All these elements came together and did create a truly outstanding production."

The remaining cast included actors Liz Gay, Carol Mote and Michael Hulen in "Graceland" and the crew included Glenn Dorr, Genie Koen, Jessie Pingry, Michael Johnson, Alejandro Martinez, and Rowynn Ricks.

Both Dorr and Burns said that the OCTAFest awards are now a source of pride for not only those involved and OnStage Woodward but for the community as a whole.

"Now we have something that we can point to show the entire state that we have quality productions right here in Woodward, Oklahoma," Dorr said.

Burns said the community can also take pride in the production because without the community's support, the production wouldn't have been possible.

"We're thankful to have a community that is supportive of the arts and more specifically of community theatre," he said, noting that in Woodward, "the community participation here is unrivaled across the state."

In particular, Burns thanked some special sponsors who helped make it possible for OnStage Woodward to participate in OCTAFest itself.

"We owe our many thanks to Custom Powerline Construction, Northwest Golf Cars, and the Woodward Chamber of Commerce for their support," he said.

Burns said he hopes that the production will continue to do the community proud as it moves onto the higher levels of competition.

"We are humbled to be representing Woodward, rural Oklahoma and the entire state when we go to regionals in April," he said.

Dorr said he is excited for the next level of competition.

"Now it's just onward and upward to the next phase," he said, noting "We can't wait to show the state and nation what we can do."

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