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Blackledge Receives Highest Honor at Kennedy Theater Festival

Professor Barb Blackledge, former chair of the Department of Theater and Dance at IUP, was awarded a prestigious 2012 Gold Medallion Award at the 2012 Region 2 Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF), hosted by IUP.

Each year, the eight KCACTF regions honor individuals or organizations that have made extraordinary contributions to the teaching and producing of theater and who have significantly dedicated their time, artistry, and enthusiasm to the development of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Most importantly, recipients have demonstrated a strong commitment to the values and goals of KCACTF and to excellence in educational theater. It is the most prestigious regional award given by KCACTF and is considered one of the great honors in theater education.

Blackledge, who retired this year from IUP, was surprised and touched by the award. For many years she has contributed her time and talents to managing KCACTF’s prestigious Irene Ryan Acting Award. She also is a respected respondent who has travelled throughout the region to offer responses to other schools. In response to receiving the award, Blackledge said, “I was so touched that the people with whom I have worked and grown to respect so much voted to give me this prestigious award. I have given KCACTF so much of myself for the last six years. But I have received so much from the experience in terms of how I have grown as an artist and as an educator—well beyond this totally unexpected award.”

The KCACTF Region 2 Festival 44 at IUP brought together over 1,000 students and faculty from Pennsylvania, southern New York, Ohio, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, northern Virginia, and the District of Columbia to celebrate excellence in college and university theater. Festival attendees saw eight productions representing excellence in theater across the region. They also participated in dozens of workshops, gallery expositions, and events to help them develop their artistry.

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