Theater students and professor receive top awards at festival

Theater students and professor receive top awards at festival

Story by Claire Sullivan, Writer

On Associate Professor of Theatre Tom Heiman’s back office wall, hanging alongside his Angry Birds stickers, he has several awards for theater directing and designing, technical achievement, lighting design, directing and props. He recently added another award to his collection.

“[It is great being recognized] by my peers and that they think I understand college theater on a high level,” said Heiman on what the Road Warrior Award means to him.

Heiman received this honor in January at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Region Five Conference.

During the same conference, the Baker University Theatre Tech Team, consisting of senior Ryan Bearrick, senior MacKenzie Sammons, freshman Alyssa Glover and junior Emi Kniffin, won the Spirit Award, marking the second year in a row that a BU team has won the award.

The Spirit Award is on display in the music and theater departmental assistant’s office in Owens Hall. Each year, the winning team adds something new to the statue.

Sammons said the Tech Team brought “a lot of spirit and heart to the competition.”

The KACTF5, which was held in Minneapolis, is one of the biggest theater conferences in the country. College groups perform shows, workshops, productions and performances.

In order to win the Spirit Award, a college’s theater students need to cheer and be supportive for everyone.

“[The Spirit Award] speaks to the character of our students,” Heiman said. “We’re just not there to win and to go home. We’re [students] there to have a great experience with all sorts of people.”

Heiman won the Road Warrior Award because of the quality of feedback he gave to other colleges. The Road Warrior Award is a black vest with rainbow letters saying “KCACTF” on the right side, and the other side in orange letters has the region and “Road Warrior.”

The Road Warrior recipient sees different colleges’ shows and “gives them feedback — basically what I saw in the show that impressed me either positively or negatively,” Heiman said.

Glover believes that Heiman deserved to win the award because he is helpful at giving critiques and comments.