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Volume 26, Number 2 — February 2019

King Theatre Students nominated to Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

December 20, 2015

BRISTOL, Tenn. King University's theatre department is receiving acknowledgement for its work this season as they highlight William Shakespeare during the 400th year anniversary of the playwright's death. Four King Theatre students received nominations to the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival; while the play "Shakespeare the KING" was selected to be part of the Fringe Festival at the prestigious Southeastern Theatre Conference in Greensboro, N.C.

"It is a great honor to participate, as a school, in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival because it allows our students to see what is happening in the region. The Kennedy Center has eight regional sub-festivals, which lead to the national event," said Kiara Pipino, assistant professor of Theatre at King. "

King University Theatre will participate in region four of the KCACTF, which includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Southern Virginia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The regional KCACTF takes place in Charlotte, N.C., Feb. 2-6. Out of the students competing at the regional levels, only 125 will compete at the 48th annual national festival, which will take place at the John F. Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., April 11-16.

Two theatre students received Irene Ryan acting nominations for acting in the play "Good Morning Desdemona Goodnight Juliet" senior Jessica King for her role as Desdemona and junior Brooke Addington for her role as Constance. Theatrical Design Excellence nominations were received by senior Natasha Trombly for costume design and junior Holly O'Brien for stage management, both for "Good Morning Desdemona Goodnight Juliet."

"Theatre has been part of my life since I was in sixth grade," said King. "I'm excited to continue on and explore the options before me."

O'Brien received a previous nomination for her dramaturgy work at Northeast State Community College in the spring of 2014. "This is a wonderful learning experience. For my stage management nomination, I will have to present a book showing all my work, and I will also have to do an oral presentation. Seeing all the designs the other students have come up with is pretty incredible."

"I am very proud of our King University students being able to participate in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival this year," said Chris Slaughter, associate professor and chair of the theatre department at King University. "It is an excellent opportunity not only for their careers but also for King University."

In addition to the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, King's theatre program has been selected to be part of the Fringe Festival at the Southeastern Theatre Conference, which takes place in Greensboro, N.C., in March.

"We are elated that not only will King participate in KCACTF but also SETC. It is an incredible honor for our students to take part in the two most important academic, theatrical events in the U.S.," said Pipino.

SETC is the strongest and broadest network of theatre practitioners in the United States. They provide extensive resources and year-round opportunities for their constituents. Their services, publications, and products contribute significantly to the careers of emerging artists, seasoned professionals, and academicians. SETC energizes the practical, intellectual and creative profile of theatre in America.

The play King Theatre students will perform is "Shakespeare the KING," which was written by Pipino, along with her former student Jason Flannery, a graduate of Grand Valley State University and current MFA Directing Candidate at Lindenwood University in St Louis, Mo. The comedy merges several of the greatest works of Shakespeare, including "Hamlet," "Macbeth," "Othello," "Twelfth Night," "Pericles," "As You Like It" and "The Tempest," with the modern world of video games, specifically Super Mario.

Pipino said, "The ambition of the play, "Shakespeare the KING,' is to bring the world and works of William Shakespeare to young audiences in a way that is accessible, understandable, and most importantly engaging to what may be a skeptical audience. The show takes this struggle between archetypes and layers it with an artistic video game concept, which will hopefully paint the content in a new light for the young audience, showing that the works of the Bard will always find ways to stay fresh, applicable, and presentable to audiences of any age."

"Performing at SETC is quite an honor. "Shakespeare the KING' was our opening play during a season dedicated to honoring the greatest playwright in history, William Shakespeare," said Slaughter. "We hope our performance at SETC will intrigue and engage the audience and compel them to spend more time with the classics."

For more information about King University's Theatre Department contact Chris Slaughter at 423-652-4800 or Visit to learn more about the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Visit for information on the Southeastern Theatre Conference.