Education

Cuesta College’s ‘Refried Elvis’ play wins Kennedy Center theater awards

Cuesta College’s production of “Refried Elvis,” which premiered in December 2015, received five national awards at the regional Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Hawaii.
Cuesta College’s production of “Refried Elvis,” which premiered in December 2015, received five national awards at the regional Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Hawaii.

A Cuesta College Drama Department production has been honored at the regional Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival for the second time in recent years.

“Refried Elvis” received six national awards after playing at the festival in Oahu, Hawaii, in February.

The original musical, which premiered in December at Cuesta College’s Cultural and Performing Arts Center, re-imagines the origins of rock ‘n’ roll during Elvis Presley’s rise to fame — centering on fictional plans by the FBI and the League for Moral Decency to kidnap the King.

“Refried Elvis” was directed by bree valle, who heads Cuesta’s drama program, and written by her husband, Cal Poly lecturer Philip Valle. Both received distinguished awards for their work.

Allison King, Tony Costa and Greg Threlkeld garnered distinguished acting honors. “Refried Elvis” also won an award for distinguished performance and production ensemble.

“We are all thrilled with the show’s success,” bree valle said.

Cuesta College was one of four colleges from Region 8, which encompasses Arizona, Hawaii, Utah and parts of California and Nevada, selected to perform at the festival. “Refried Elvis” was the only original play chosen, the news release said.

In 2014, Cuesta College’s production of “pool ‘63” won five national awards at the regional Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Washington, D.C. That play, a collaboration between valle, her husband and Cuesta theater students, examines how two young girls — one black, one white — are shaped by the civil rights movement in Birmingham, Ala.

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