The Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival has recognized two Theatre UCF actors for performances given in Washington, D.C., in 2011.

Kevia Goins, a junior, was awarded “Distinguished Performance by an Actress” for her role as Black Mary in Gem of the Ocean, and Be Boyd was awarded “Distinguished Performance by a Faculty Guest Artist” in the same play. Boyd is an associate professor and played the role of Aunt Ester.

Gem of the Ocean, directed by faculty member Julia Listengarten, was presented at Theatre UCF for two weeks last year. The play was invited to be performed at the festival, where it was well received. Eight regional festivals showcase the top productions and students from universities and colleges around the country, and national awards are selected from this pool.

The theatre department was pleased to have a faculty and student awarded for working so closely together.

“When a faculty member works a role alongside students, it is an opportunity for students to observe and learn by direct example, which transcends the level of classroom coaching and provides the apprentice-ship type environment that is essential to the development of an actor,” said Christopher Niess, chair and artistic director of the Theatre Department.

“The faculty-student working relationship in production, just as in the laboratory, often yields new creative angles that may not be realized across the distance in the typical professor-student relationship in the classroom. This benefits the entire creative team and the audience, and more directly mirrors the professional theatre, where there may exist a variety of skill levels.”