Posting Date: May 17, 2010

Kennesaw State student competes at Kennedy Center

James Maloof receives first runner-up for national award

By Scott Singleton

James Maloof receiving the first runner up prize at the Kennedy Center for best stage design

Photo courtesy of Jamie Bullins.

After countless hours of behind-the-scenes work, the time arrived for James Maloof to be in the spotlight. In April, Maloof was recognized as the first runner-up for the national Barbizon Award in best stage design at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Maloof competed with his design from "Everything That Rises Must Converge," the 2009 Kennesaw State University production of two short stories by Flannery O'Connor.

This achievement continues a tradition of success by KSU theatre and performance studies students. In 2006 and 2007, KSU student Erik Teague received the national award at the Kennedy Center. Teague is now in the graduate design program at University of Boston.

On this accomplishment, Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies Jamie Bullins says, "For KSU to have students on the stage three out of the last five years receiving national recognition is a huge achievement. This is a small undergraduate program competing on a national scale against graduate programs"

Bullins also notes the skills that allowed Maloof to gain recognition in a competition composed primarily of graduate students. "James is very keen in his sensibilities in terms of dissecting a text. He is able to pull new and inventive ideas and unique visual context from a script. While these are skills necessary to be a good designer, James carries them further and that will allow him the opportunity to become a significant one."

Maloof acknowledges that the experience is more than receiving an award. While at the Kennedy Center, he participated in workshops and interacted with peers and theater professionals. Maloof says, "It's about building relationships with other peers."


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