UGA’s department of theatre and film studies recognizes undergraduate and graduate scholarship

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia’s department of theatre and film studies recognized students and faculty recently in a ceremony that included photo and video montages, guest appearances by well-known actors and faculty members, and the presentation of several scholarships and awards to undergraduate and graduate students and faculty.

David Z. Saltz, department head, served as the master of ceremonies and introduced a video montage of the department’s wide array of performances during the 2005-06 academic year. Included were clips and photographs from the year’s productions – Anna In the Tropics, Noises Off, Begum Barve, Children of an Idol Moon, Polaroid Stories and King Lear.

Also featured were images from the department’s newest program area, dramatic media, which encompasses computer animation, digital video, motion capture and interactive performance. The department’s NSF-funded “Virtual Vaudeville” project was highlighted as were scenes from the documentary “Blacklist” (directed by the faculty member Kenny Kilfara) and computer graphic animation produced by department faculty and students for The History Channel.

Two well-known actors currently affiliated with the department made remarks. Lane Davies, a lead cast member from the NBC soap opera “Santa Barbara” and recently seen in “Scrubs” and “Lois and Clark,” thanked the faculty and students for providing him with a “safe and encouraging environment” in which to perform in “King Lear.” Nicolas Coster, also seen in “Santa Barbara” and just in from an audition for a new Steven Spielberg film, showed three versions of a filmic commercial for Coca-Cola in which he is featured prominently. Coster is currently an adjunct professor in the department.

The Chuck Baker Scholarship in Drama was introduced by former department head Stanley Longman, who helped establish the scholarship in memory of Baker, a former journalism professor at UGA. The scholarship was presented by Professor Kristin Kundert-Gibbs to junior Nathaniel Collum of Covington. The professor said Collum has a “compassion and sense of humanity that is rare in one his age.” Also receiving the Baker Scholarship was Gavin Llambes, a junior from Hiram. Professor Ray Paolino presented the scholarship to Llambes saying the theatre student is a “powerhouse actor.”

A scholarship in acting and screenwriting was introduced by Buena Lambeth, mother of the late Eddie Lambeth, an economics graduate of UGA with a love of acting and film. Professor Mirla Criste presented the Eddie Lambeth Scholarship to Maria Moody, a junior from Athens. Criste recognized the 4.0 GPA student’s “faultless work ethic.”

The Holubar Scholarship in Theatre was introduced by Nicole Holubar and UGA student Lindsay Tingler. The scholarship recognizes Martin Holubar, a rising sophomore in the department at the time of his unexpected death last summer. Presenting the scholarship was Michael O’Connell, the department’s technical director. The recipient was Eric Garbe, a sophomore from Atlanta who, according to O’Connell, has logged more than 1200 hours of behind-the-scenes work for the department when he’s not studying multivariant calculus.

The last scholarship of the evening was introduced by the award’s namesake and another former department head, August Staub. The scholarship recognizes an outstanding graduate student in the department. This year’s recipient was T.J. Greenway, graduating this spring with an MFA in theatre design. Professor Rich Dunham recognized Greenway as a student who “brings the very finest qualities to the table as a designer.”

Saltz also recognized faculty and students in the department who’ve received academic awards this year. Included were professors Freda Scott Giles, George Contini, Cheryldee Huddleston and Linda Chastain; students included Michelle Smith and Kat Elliott.

The department of theatre and film studies is a unit of UGA’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. The department offers four degree programs: two undergraduate and two graduate degrees. Bachelor of Arts degrees are offered in drama and in film studies. The MFA offers concentrations in several specialties of dramatic art: acting, scenic and lighting design, costume design, and dramatic media. The doctorate is a scholarly degree with a program that emphasizes research in the history and theory of dramatic art.

The Franklin College serves more than 16,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year through the teaching and research of more than 630 faculty members as well as through the resources of 30 academic departments and more than 20 centers and programs. For more information, visit http://www.franklin.uga.edu/ and http://www.drama.uga.edu/.