Kennedy Center Honors Tarleton State Theater Students

Tarleton State University students, from left, Benny Brown and Rebecca Franko have been honored for their efforts in the Tarleton State University theater production “LIZZIE: The Musical” and have been invited to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

STEPHENVILLE — National honors keep rolling in for Tarleton State University’s presentation of “LIZZIE: The Musical.” Two principals of the show have been lauded for their contributions in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival and will travel to Washington, D.C., the week of April 21.

Benny Brown, who portrays the titular character in the Theatre at Tarleton production, has been named one of three outstanding college actors in the U.S. and invited to appear at the Kennedy Center as a solo performer. 

Production costume designer Rebecca Franko was awarded the National Region Award for her efforts in the award-winning production. She advances to the national convention at the Kennedy Center and will compete with seven other regional winners.

Both Brown and Franko were nominated for the elite Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship for their work on “LIZZIE.”

“I am beaming with pride for the accomplishments made by Rebecca and Benny,” said Daniel Stone, the play’s director. “It is pretty difficult to have just one student go to the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival nationals, let alone two. This is a testament to the great work we are doing in the Texan theater program and within our larger Tarleton Texan community.”

The production, part of the nationwide festival, earned a spot in the regional competition, a first for Tarleton State’s theater program.

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