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R. Rex Stephenson Receives 2007 SETC Child Drama Award
For immediate release:
March 13, 2007

Contact: Natalie Faunce, (540) 365-4301
    R. Rex Stephenson, Professor of Drama at Ferrum College, was recognized recently during the 58th Annual Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) in Atlanta, receiving the prestigious SETC Sara Spencer Award named in honor of children’s theatre pioneer and publisher, Sara Spencer.

     This national award recognizes an individual or organization for achievement in such areas of child drama as playwriting, performance, audience development, curriculum development, funding, scholarship, community programs, research, television programming, creative drama or other enrichment programs within the SETC Region.

    Stephenson was recognized for his years of work with the Jack Tale Players and The Blue Ridge Dinner Theatre. Since 1975 Stephenson has been dramatizing stories about the Appalachian folk hero, and is considered one of the most published children's playwright in Virginia. Jeffrey M. Revels, Education Director, and Associate Artistic Director for Orlando Reparatory Theatre made the presentation of the award. He talked about the broad range of themes Rex has dramatized in his plays; from the historical and religious to adaptations of great literature, as well as the innovative methods he has used to create engaging drama. He highlighted Rex’s influence on children’s drama as the founder and artistic director of America’s longest, continuously running children’s theatre troupe, The Jack Tales. He mentioned Rex’s influence locally as the founding vision of both the Ferrum College drama major and the regionally significant Blue Ridge Dinner Theatre. He ended his presentation by reading a quote from Nellie McCaslin’s 8th edition of Creative Drama in the Classroom, “To R. Rex Stephenson, who has enriched the lives of so many in so many different ways.”

     Past recipients of the SETC Sara Spencer Award include: Theatre IV, Judith Kase-Polisini, Stage One: Louisville Children's Theatre, NC Theatre for Young People, Al Cohen, Roger Bedard, Barbara Britton, Tom Behm, Ann Hill, Orlin Corey, Birmingham Children's Theatre, Patricia Whitton, Elizabeth Rike, Lexington Children's Theatre, The Department of Dramatic Arts at the University of South Alabama, Fort Lauderdale Children's Theatre, Chattanooga Theatre Centre's Youth Theatre and Children's Theatre of Charlotte.

    Ferrum College is a four-year, private, co-educational, liberal arts college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Ferrum offers a choice of nationally recognized bachelor’s degree programs at a cost well below the national average for private colleges. For more information on Ferrum, visit



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