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OU director, alumna earn recognition for theater achievements in St. Louis awards

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School of Drama

The OU school of drama.

The OU Helmerich School of Drama director and an alumna were recognized at the St. Louis Theater Circle Awards on April 7.

OU drama director Seth Gordon directed the premiere of the play, “Nonsense and Beauty,” that received the award of Best New Play at the ceremony. Alumna Paige Hathaway received Best Set Design of a Musical for “Matilda,” according to a Facebook post.

Gordon became the director of OU’s School of Drama in August 2019, four months after the premiere of “Nonsense and Beauty” at the IGNITE! Festival of New Plays.

“Nonsense and Beauty” is a play about British author E.M. Forster’s love affair with a younger policeman in the 1930s, according to the production’s website.

Gordon said directing the play was a rewarding experience.

“It's a nice feeling to know there are others who agree the play is worthy of merit...it's nice to share that feeling with all my colleagues,” Gordon said.

Hathaway received her bachelor’s in scenic design from OU in 2011. She has designed sets for “Cinderella,” “South Pacific, ”“A Midsummer Night's Dream” and more according to her website.

“Matilda” was produced out of MUNY, an outdoor theater in St. Louis, Missouri, and the outdoor setting made the set design for the musical incredibly complicated, Hathaway said.

She said the quick scene transitions required a lot of planning with the director, choreographer and design team.

The final product had a very cohesive aesthetic and I think that’s why the design got so much positive critical attention,” Hathaway said.

Gordon said, now more than ever, theater allows a divided society to sit and enjoy the same story.

“It’s one place where everyone sits together in a room regardless of their race, age (or background)... and sees the same story. Theater teaches empathy and encourages empathy among humans,” Gordon said.

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