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Loyola University New Orleans Dept. of Theatre Arts and Dance Wins Big Easy Entertainment Award for Best University Production

Loyola press release - May 4, 2017

Loyola University New Orleans’ stellar Department of Theatre Arts and Dance is celebrating its recent win of a Big Easy Entertainment Award for Best University Production. The win came for their fall 2016 production of The House That Will Not Stand, written by Marcus Gardley and directed by Laura Hope, which chronicled the lives of free women of color in New Orleans just after the Louisiana purchase. Popularly considered New Orleans’ very own brand of Tony Award, the Big Easy Entertainment Awards are designed to recognize achievement in live theatre.

“We are so grateful to the Big Easy Awards committee and our many alumni who have supported us during the revitalization of our department. As the students and I accepted the award, it was so heartening to hear our Wolf Pack alumni in attendance howl their support,” said Dr. Laura Hope, chair of Loyola’s Department of Theatre Arts and Dance and director of the production. “I’m very proud of all the students and faculty in our department for their work on this and all of our shows during the season. It is a team effort to make each show happen with faculty and students working long hours together — days, nights, and weekends. It requires a level of focus and dedication that is awe-inspiring, and I feel lucky to work with such talented and devoted colleagues and students.”

Affiliated with Gambit Weekly, the nonprofit Big Easy Entertainment Awards both honor the city’s vibrant theatre industry and help to fund the nonprofit Foundation for Entertainment, Development and Education, which supports “projects and programs that acknowledge the profound importance of the performing arts to the culture and economy of the New Orleans area.” The 30th annual Big Easy Theater Awards were announced Friday, April 28 at The Orpheum Theater. Loyola students, faculty, alumni and friends in attendance were especially pleased and proud to celebrate the following outstanding musical and theatre performances:

Best University Production: Loyola University New Orleans for The House That Will Not Stand, directed by Laura Hope

Best Actress: Loyola Theatre Arts alumna and award-winning actress Kerry Cahill for Southern Repertory Theatre’s production of Grounded, performed in Loyola’s Lower Depths Theatre.

Best Production of a Musical: Loyola theatre alumna Kali Russel’s theatre company See ‘Em on Stage: A Production Company won for Lizzie the Musical. Russell choreographed and performed in the show.

Best Production of a Play: Southern Rep Theatre for Colossal, directed by Loyola alumna and Southern Rep Theatre Artistic Director, Aimeé Hayes

Click here to learn more about Loyola’s new partnership with Southern Rep regional theatre.

Loyola was honored for the first regional production of “The House That Will Not Stand,” a compelling play by Marcus Gardley set in 1813 New Orleans. Inspired by Federico García Lorca’s classic The House of Bernarda Alba, the compelling drama grapples with racial and social justice issues — and allowed audiences a close and personal look at the city’s cultural and social history as New Orleans approaches its Tricentennial.

“Needless to say, the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance is ecstatic with the win as The House That Will Not Stand has been hailed as one of the city’s most esteemed theatrical productions,” said Stephanie Miller, theatre department office manager.

“A socially relevant and compelling piece of work, Loyola’s production of The House That Will Not Stand continues to challenge recent political and societal distress through its Big Easy Award win. We couldn’t be more proud of our fearless Chairwoman Dr. Laura Hope and the phenomenal cast and crew at Loyola who put their hearts, minds, and undeniable talent into this thought-provoking theatrical piece.”