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King University News :: King College Professor Receives Kennedy Center American College Theatre Achievement Award

Elizabeth Lee Dollar, chair of the Performing Visual Arts department and director of the Theatre program at King College, has been awarded the Meritorious Achievement Award for Excellence in Direction from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF). Dollar's award was in recognition of her direction of Oliver Goldsmith's riotous comedy She Stoops to Conquer.

Having a professional coming in, who is not familiar with your processes and your work, to provide a truly unbiased opinion is a very important learning experience for the students, said Dollar. We received wonderful, positive feedback following the responders visit. Following the visit, it is the responders' choice as to whether they wish to nominate a faculty member for recognition. I was surprised to learn our responder had nominated me for the award. It is quite an honor.

The production for which Dollar received recognition for direction was performed by King Theatre's Studio 106, in November 2011. Studio 106 is a series of performances for the exploration of challenging topics and the discovery of innovative performance styles, which aims to expose audiences to the rich diversity of world dramatic literature and theory. Goldsmith's comedy is a highlight of the 18th century which pokes fun at the decorum of the time and the popular themes of love and virtue.

Started in 1969 by Roger L. Stevens, the Kennedy Center's founding chairman, the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide, which has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college theater in the United States. The KCACTF has grown into a network of more than 600 academic institutions throughout the country, where theater departments and student artists showcase their work and receive outside assessment by KCACTF respondents.

It is wonderful to receive the peer review, said Dollar. This is one way a teaching artist can receive a peer review of your artistic work. One of the nice things about Kennedy Center's American College Theatre Festival is that it is all about promoting excellence in college theatre, and the advancement of the next generation of artists. It is nice to be told you did a good job with your students.

Participating college theatre programs have the opportunity to enter a production into the KCACTF. Once a production is entered, a KCACTF responder from the schools' region will make a site visit to review the entered performance. Aspects of the production that are reviewed include the choice of the play itself, directing choices, staging, blocking, design, and actor development, among other criteria. The responder then provides a constructive critique on all aspects of the play.

King's Theatre department has participated in the KCACTF for the past 10 years. Dollar previously was awarded the Meritorious Achievement Award for Excellence in Direction for the play All in the Timing.

Dollar, received her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Radford University and her Master of Arts, with a focus on theatre history and criticism with an emphasis in dramaturgy, from Ohio University.