Jackson State University’s student performance troupe MADDRAMA recently racked up the wins at the 82nd National Association of Dramatic and Speech Arts Conference at Dillard University where they contended against 10 other schools from around the United States.
The group returned home with more first-place awards than any of their opponents; Alabama State University, Baton Rouge Community College, Bethune-Cookman University, Coppin State University, Delaware State University, Dillard University, Grambling State University, Prairie View A&M University, Texas Southern University and Winston-Salem State.“To compete and win against students from institutions throughout the entire country is a testament of the potential of our members to become significant contributors to the world of entertainment,” said Dr. Mark G. Henderson, founder of the JSU student organization.
MADDRAMA is known for their moving performances that cover a range of cultural and educational themes using music, drama, and dance.
Henderson, also a theatre and speech professor, noted that MADDRAMA is comprised of JSU students majoring in various disciplines; therefore, their success is reflective of how and why MADDRAMA is an organization that serves and benefits ‘every’ student at the HBCU.
The arts conference was founded in 1936 and is comprised of over 400 students, educators, administrators, designers, and playwrights, mostly from fellow historically black colleges and universities with theatre and speech arts programs. Each year, the association convenes a four-day conference, typically hosted by a member institution, featuring a series of competitions, workshops, performances, panels, and presentations.
MADDRAMA walked away with the following awards:
• First place – Play Performance Festival
• First place – Oral Interpretation of Prose
• First place – Reader’s Theatre
• First place – Extemporaneous Speaking
• First place – Original Playwriting
• Second place – Original Playwriting
• Second place – Duo-Acting
• Second place – Dramatic Monologue
• Third place – Stage Design
Additionally, Michael Taylor, sophomore theatre major, was elected national student president and Clement Gibson, junior mass communications major, was selected national student vice president for the national dramatic and speech arts organization.