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Students Win Kennedy Center Playwriting Awards

It's no secret the Department of Theatre and Dance is at the forefront of new work in the theatre world. Last week three of our students solidified this reputation by taking home top prizes at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, beating out numerous works from around the country.

Andrew Hinderaker Headshot
Andrew Hinderaker

M.F.A. in Playwriting candidate Andrew Hinderaker received first place in the Jean Kennedy Smith Playwriting Award for his play Colossal, about a University of Texas football player struggling to move forward in the wake of a catastrophic spinal injury. The ambitious work features a 20 piece ensemble, dancing, and a drum corps. Colossal is one of over 35 pieces presented at the Cohen New Works Festival Presented by the University Co-op. The large spectacle multi-medium performance will run March 25-28 in the Anna Hiss Gym on The University of Texas at Austin campus.

Abe Koogler Headshot
Abe Koogler

Colossal also took second place in the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, edged out by Kill Floor, written by UT Michener Fellow in Playwriting Abe Koogler. Kill Floor is about an ex-con who returns to her hometown to work at the local slaughterhouse, and begins a furtive relationship with her married boss while trying to reconcile with her son.

Emily Freeman Headshot
Emily Freeman

Emily Freeman, an M.F.A. candidate in Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities, took the top prize in the Theatre for Young Audiences Playwriting Award for And Then Came Tango, inspired by the heartwarming story of Roy and Silo, two penguins in the Central Park Zoo who form a pair bond and raise a baby fledgling. And Then Came Tango was part of the Department of Theatre and Dance's 2012-2013 season.

All three awards carry a cash prize and will be officially awarded in April at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C.

Monday, March 25, 2013