Arkansas Repertory Theatre Announces Inaugural Ann L. Pride Award

Annual award to recognize outstanding service of a Rep intern

Arkansas Repertory Theatre is pleased to announce the inauguration of its Ann L. Pride Award program. Named in honor of Arkansas native and Rep supporter Ann L. Pride, the award will be presented to a deserving intern as he/she completes their year-long internship at The Rep. In addition to the recognition, the award includes a monetary gift of $1,000.  The inaugural award recipient is Christopher Ryan Tebo Hardin, sound intern for The Rep’s 2016-17 Season.

“From production to administration, our staff consistently notes that you can delegate tasks to Christopher and know that they will be executed with the highest level of skill and professionalism,” said Production Manager Rafael Castanera. “He not only excelled at his role as sound intern, he also stepped in to assist our electrics department for three weeks when assistance was needed. He’s skilled on the technical aspects of the theatre, but he also has a genuinely helpful personality that radiates through every interaction.”

Christopher Hardin is a native of Lakeland, Florida. He graduated in 2014 from Florida Southern College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Performance Theatre and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Technical Theatre with an emphasis in Sound Design. Upon graduation, he completed a summer stock program as the sound designer for the Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre in Mars Hill, North Carolina.  This was followed by a one-year professional sound apprenticeship for the Olney Theatre in Olney, Maryland. 

Hardin was attracted to The Rep internship because of the diverse body of theatrical work in sound. He says that throughout his year internship he has learned that “it takes a total team effort of every department in the theatre to present a top-notch performance for our patrons. At the end of the day our patrons deserve the very best theatre experience.”

Upon completion of his time at The Rep, Hardin hopes to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.

“Choosing the first recipient of The Ann L. Pride Award was not an easy task,” said Producing Artistic Director John Miller-Stephany. “The Rep was extremely fortunate to have had six highly talented and fiercely dedicated young theatre artists serve as interns during our 2016-17 Season.  Each of them richly deserves recognition.”

2016-17 INTERNS
In addition to Harden, The Rep’s 2016-17 Intern Program welcomed five other highly skilled interns from across the country.

  • Emily P. Faith, Education Intern
    • Emily P. Faith is an actor and educator from Little Rock.  Faith’s love for theatre began on The Rep’s stage as a participant in the summer program before attending Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting in 2013. After graduation, Faith worked professionally as an actor, teaching artist and stage manager in Nashville, TN and Boston, MA.

      She was attracted to The Rep internship due to “the fact that the theatre was in a time of major transition. It was an exciting challenge knowing that the company was shifting gears in significant ways, and [she] wanted to be a part of such a pivotal moment in The Rep’s history.” Following the conclusion of this internship, she will spend part of her summer in Bass Harbor, Maine, devising and performing in new works for Young Audiences. After that, she will move to Dallas, TX where she will serve as a teaching artist for the Dallas Children’s Theatre and the Dallas Theater Center, as well as auditioning.
  • Isaac Krispin, Production Assistant
    • Isaac Krispin grew up in Nashville, Tennessee. His love of theatre began when he performed as the court jester in his fifth grade production of Good King Wenceslas. He graduated with his Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from the University of Tennessee, which operates the Clarence Brown Theatre, a LORT D Equity theatre. As an undergraduate, he served as Stage Manager for Mr. Burns: A Post Electric Play, Assistant Director for A Lesson Before Dying, and Assistant Stage Manager for a variety of other productions. He is very grateful to The Rep for this opportunity and to the many friends he has gained throughout the internship. After completing his internship, he will go to Camp Marymount to be a camp counselor and then to the Bell Witch Fall Festival to be an Assistant Stage Manager for their production of Spirit.
  • Regan Mulrooney, Costume Intern
    • Regan Mulrooney grew up in New Fairfield, Connecticut where she participated in theater throughout high school. She attended college at Susquehanna University finding her niche in the costume shop. Mulrooney graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatrical Production and Design with a minor in Public Relations. Regan was initially drawn to the internship program at Arkansas Repertory Theatre due to the theatre's professional reputation, the promise of building complex and dynamic costume pieces that would bolster her portfolio, and the opportunity to develop her costuming skill set while working in a fast paced environment.  Throughout her time at The Rep some of the greatest lessons she learned are “there is always room to grow, it's okay to make mistakes as you learn, and how to make some of the most glorious puffy sleeves imaginable.”  After her time in Little Rock, Mulrooney is moving to Albany, New York to work as the Costume Shop Assistant with the Capital Repertory Theater.   
  • Liann Nicholson, Production Assistant
    • Liann Nicholson is a graduate of Ohio University's Theatre Production, Design and Technology program. She received her Bachelor of Arts in 2016 in addition to a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She had the opportunity to serve as Stage Manager and Assistant Stage Manager for a variety of productions while she was at Ohio University. She was one of two Production Stage Managers for Monomoy Theatre's 2014 Season. In the past she has also had the opportunity to work with The House Theatre of Chicago and The Ash Lawn Opera Company. Nicholson was attracted to The Rep's Internship Program because it was an “invaluable opportunity to learn and grow both professionally and personally while working on shows of high caliber at a theatre with a great reputation.” Upon leaving The Rep, she will be the Stage Manager for Stage Left Theatre's Leapfest XIV.
  • Rachel Sheets, Electrics Assistant
    • Rachel Sheets just graduated with her Master of Fine Arts in lighting design from the University of South Carolina.  Raised in Virginia, she graduated in 2012 from the University of Mary Washington with a Bachelor of Arts in geography. Rachel was first attracted to The Rep because of the opportunity to work in a LORT theatre for a year and observe how the theatre decided and managed an entire season of shows. She also appreciated that The Rep offered housing within walking distance of the theatre. She enjoyed the opportunity to see and assist the development of each show from a page in a script to the finished production on the stage. She also enjoyed learning how shows were maintained over the course of their runs. Following the conclusion of this internship, Rachel will be returning to Charlotte, NC to pursue lighting design as a freelancer.

Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s Internship Program provides professional theatre production experience under the guidance of John Miller-Stephany, Producing Artistic Director, and Rafael Colon Castanera, Production Manager. This mentorship program provides year-long, practical experience in developing job-getting and job-keeping skills for emerging theatre professionals. The Rep provides compensation and subsidized housing for at least five highly qualified college graduates each season. Areas of concentration include sound design, lighting design, costume design, theatre education, and stage management.   

During the last three decades, The Rep has provided the bridge between academia and the professional world for more than 200 college graduates. The Rep hires at least five interns each season from colleges and universities across the country. During their year-long residency Rep interns work alongside highly skilled and nationally recognized theatre professionals. Interns play crucial roles in creating and supporting the theatrical work on The Rep’s stages, and they are integral to the theatre’s efforts and successes. After their Rep experience, interns are prepared to be competitive applicants for professional placement in their specific field of interest.

A Blytheville, Arkansas native, Ann L. Pride spent more than two decades working on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.  She then joined Entergy in 1991 where she worked until her death in 2016.  While with Entergy, she was a strong voice for low-income Americans with her advocacy for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.  A graduate of the University of Arkansas where she received a B.A. in Spanish and a M.A. in political science, Ann mentored and assisted many young people.  Because the theatre was prominent among her many interests, Ann’s friends have established The Ann L. Pride Award at Arkansas Repertory Theater in her honor.

Now celebrating its 41st Season, Arkansas Repertory Theatre is the state’s largest nonprofit resident theatre. A member of the League of Resident Theatres, The Rep produces a highly varied body of theatrical work each season which attracts more than 70,000 patrons annually to its 377-seat theatre in downtown Little Rock and offers performances over 200 nights each year. Producing Artistic Director John Miller-Stephany leads a resident staff of designers, technicians and administrators in the creation of six or seven productions annually. Since its founding 41 years ago The Rep has mounted more than 350 productions, including 45 world premieres. The Rep offers culturally diverse programming to reflect its home community.  Its 2017-18 Season includes major stagings of The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, The School for Lies, The Call and Mamma Mia!  

 The Rep believes that theatre has the ability to educate and inspire as well as to entertain.  The Rep’s Education Department engages Arkansas students of all ages (including adult learners), encouraging expression, collaboration, creative problem-solving, reflection, and a deeper community connection through involvement in theatre arts.  Educational activities include special matinees for students, year-round classes and camps led by a professional faculty, master classes and workshops with guest artists, outreach programming, scholarships, the Internship Program, and more.  


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