UM Theatre Department wins four regional awards

Published 10:09 am Thursday, February 2, 2023

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By LIZZIE BOWEN | Staff Writer

MONTEVALLO – The University of Montevallo’s Theatre Department won big as it brought home four 2022 BroadwayWorld Birmingham Awards this month, which are awarded to the best in regional productions, touring shows and more.

The university’s wins included: Best Play winner “Anon(ymous),” Best Musical winner “A New Brain,” Best New Play or Musical winner “Flatliners the Musical” and Best Supporting Performer in a Play winner Eric Browne for his role in “The Normal Heart.”

“The students were elated to find out that their hard work was acknowledged,” said Interim Chair and Associate Professor of Theatre Michael Walker. “Especially since both department shows had a lot of ensemble work. They knew they had worked hard, and they felt good about the work they had done. Social media has been flooded with posts from our students.”

The performances had to premiere between Oct. 1, 2021 and Sept. 30, 2022 in order to be eligible for the awards. The audiences at the performances then voted and made selections for the best in each category.

“The entire department has been buzzing about the awards,” Walker said. “Especially for Flatliners. Since that was student driven project, the department has been very celebratory for that show to get acknowledged. We have made significant efforts to emphasize a culture of inclusion and to make sure that the productions reflect that.”

“Flatliners” is a new musical produced and written by Annslyn Pilkington who graduated from the University of Montevallo in 2022. It is based on the movie “Flatliners” released in 1990.

“We celebrate everyone who worked on these productions from the ushers to the stage crew to the designers and actors,” Walker said.

BroadwayWorld is an international organization broken down into different regions across the United States, Canada, Central and South America, Europe and Asia. Montevallo is part of the Birmingham and Central Alabama region, which also includes Shelby, Jefferson and Tuscaloosa counties.

“The faculty work very hard to find shows that challenge our students, have box office appeal, but also have something to say about the world we live in,” Walker said. “It is a constant challenge to serve our mission and our students while also providing the community with a high level of entertainment.”