Cuesta College's 'Pool '63' wins awards at theater festival

slinn@thetribunenews.comApril 2, 2014 

“Pool ’63” cast members rehearse at the Cuesta College Experimental Theater.

JOE JOHNSTON — jjohnston@thetribunenews.com Buy Photo

An original play created by Cuesta College faculty and students picked up five national awards at the regional Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, including directing and production honors.

About 20 Cuesta students performed “Pool ’63” in February at the festival in Los Angeles.

That performance resulted in five wins, which were announced March 13.

“These are the most prestigious awards given to a university or college theatre department in the country,” “Pool ’63” director bree valle, who heads Cuesta’s drama program, said in a news release. “We are incredibly surprised and proud.”

“Pool ’63,” which premiered in December at Cuesta’s Cultural and Performing Arts Center, was created in collaboration with valle, playwright Philip Valle and current and former Cuesta theater students.

Set during the summer of 1963 in Birmingham, Ala., the drama examines how the lives of two 9-year-old girls — one black, one white — are shaped by the civil rights movement. (The title refers to the desegregation of public swimming pools.)

“Pool ’63” was one of only nine full-scale productions picked to participate in this year's Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.

“Pool ’63” received first-place honors for Outstanding Production for a Devised or Company Generated Work, Outstanding Lead Deviser/Director of a Devised Work and Outstanding Performance and Production Ensembles. The production also won second-place awards for Distinguised Achievement in Costume Design and Distinguished Productions of a New Work.

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