Stage & Dance

Balagula, Dunbar among theater contest winners

It's only November, but Balagula Theatre already can lay claim to an award-winning season.

The company, based at Natasha's Bistro & Bar, took its productions of Samuel Beckett's Play and Not I to Morehead State University for the community theater festival at the Kentucky Theatre Association's annual conference. It came home with several of the top prizes.

They included:

Best performance: Selected Plays of Samuel Beckett.

Outstanding director: Ryan Case and Natasha Williams.

Outstanding actor: Ryan Case.

Excellence in lighting design: Gareth Evans.

Excellence in scenic design: Gareth Evans.

The Lexington area also was distinguished in KTA's inaugural Roots of the Bluegrass New Play Competition, at which Danville's Elizabeth Orndorff won the top prize for Aidan's Gift and Lexington's Walter May was second runner-up with Gone Astray.

In the high school festival, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School's production of William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew was first runner-up. The winner was Owensboro High School's Almost, Maine, and the second runner-up was Bardstown High School's Zoo Story.

For their wins, Balagula Theatre and Dunbar will participate in the Southeastern Theatre Conference's play competitions when the annual regional theater event comes to Lexington from March 3 to 7.

Also representing Kentucky will be Shelby County Community Theatre, first runner-up for best performance in the community theater competition, and Owensboro High School.