Kennedy Center ACTF honors Theatre UAB with national award, nominations

The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival awarded UAB student Russell Alexander II a national winner in Outstanding Performance by an Actor category, and nominated “SFB” for a host of awards.
SFB honoredCast and crew from the production "SFB."

The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival has honored student UAB Russell Alexander II of Montgomery as a national award winner for his performance in Theatre UAB’s production of “SFB.”

Alexander is a student in the College of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Theatre. KCACTF selected him for the Outstanding Performance by an Actor category. He has been invited to participate in the KCACTF national workshops and master classes.

“SFB” also earned national nominations from KCACTF for Distinguished Production of a Play, Distinguished Performance and Production Ensemble, Distinguished Performance by an Actress for Alora King of Boonsboro, Maryland, and Distinguished Costume Design for Phoebe Miller of Birmingham, who won an Honorable Mention in the KCACTF Region IV competition.

“SFB” is an edgy new play described by some as Chekhov’s “The Seagull” on steroids. The irreverent, contemporary and funny play has been a runaway success in professional theaters across the country. A reimagining of “The Seagull” by the playwright and director Aaron Posner, “SFB” is a play that possesses profound transformational potential and power. It remains faithful to the exploration of Chekhov’s complicated themes of art, personal existence and the vicissitudes of love, while bringing a cutting-edge, modernistic sensibility and sense of humor to the telling.

Theatre UAB presented “SFB” in November 2015. Dennis McLernon, professor of theater and head of performance, directed the production. McLernon has received national recognition from KCACTF in Teaching (2007), Directing (2008) and Acting (2010). His Theatre UAB production of Suzan-Lori Park’s “In The Blood” was invited to perform at the 2008 Kennedy Center American College National Theater Festival.

The cast of “SFB” is Alexander as Con; King as Masha; Alex Ingram of Birmingham as Nina; Carron Clem of Decatur as Emma; Calvin Nielsen of Budapest, Hungary, as Trig; Joseph Baude of Atlanta as Sorn; and Seth Burgess of Gardendale as Dev. The crew includes costume design by Miller; stage management by Victoria Morales of San Jose, California; and assistant stage management by Bliss Bailey of Montgomery and Noah Parsons of Pell City.

Theatre faculty members and staff contributing to the production include voice and diction coaching by Marlene Johnson, scenic design by Cliff Simon, lighting design by Kelly Allison, property design by J. Marc Quattlebaum, and audio design by Sean Allan Doyle.