Nov. 8, 2012/For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Lauren Whitaker, 336-734-2891, whitakerl@uncsa.edu




WINSTON-SALEM – UNC-TV’s broadcast of the critically-acclaimed University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) production of Oklahoma! has won a national award. The National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) honored UNC-TV’s broadcast in its content production category.

UNCSA’s spring 2011 all-school stage production of Oklahoma! was filmed in high definition by UNC-TV, guided by Emmy Award-winning television director David Stern. Featuring an introduction by UNCSA Chancellor John Mauceri, who served as musical director and artistic supervisor of the stage production, the show aired on UNC-TV in October 2011 and April 2012. The project was funded by a gift from the A.J. Fletcher Foundation of Raleigh with additional support from the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts and the William R. Kenan, Jr. Fund for the Arts.

"This award is a testament to the exceptional work of the faculty, students, staff, and alumni who dedicated themselves both to the theatrical production of Oklahoma! and to its filming,” said Katharine Laidlaw, executive producer for the theatrical production who oversaw the filming.  

NETA’s judges complimented both the film and the stage production. “The students that partnered with UNC-TV did a great job of executing the stage production of Oklahoma!” the judges commented. Additional comments from the judges included: “Good use of production resources to provide feel and emotion within the film” and “masterful camera pans, shots, angles, lighting, audio and music.”

Oklahoma! was one of 122 productions from across the country competing in NETA’s content production category, which included programming in news and public affairs, science and nature, instructional media, and promotion, in addition to performances. Only two other performances were honored:  Alabama Public Television’s We Have Signal: Live from Birmingham and Nine Network of Public Media/St. Louis’s Carmina Burana.

UNCSA alumni Andrew Young (B.F.A. 2007, Filmmaking) was associate director for the UNC-TV production, and Max King (B.F.A. 2012, Filmmaking) assisted with editing for the Oklahoma! television production.

Oklahoma! was the first UNCSA production to be filmed and aired over UNC-TV with funding from a half-a-million-dollar grant from the A.J. Fletcher Foundation. The gift, $100,000 a year for five years, exposes statewide audiences to UNCSA’s talented students by broadcasting their performances over UNC-TV. Last spring, UNC-TV filmed UNCSA’s production of Much Ado About Nothing as well as Spring Dance performances of Swan Lake Act II and Sophisticated Kingdom by up-and-coming choreographer Larry Keigwin. Those programs will be broadcast in 2013. 

Additional support for the Oklahoma! broadcast production was provided by the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts and the William R. Kenan, Jr., Fund for the Arts, which facilitated the hiring of Stern and Young.

“We are grateful for our partners at UNC-TV, and to the principal sponsors of the film project, the Fletcher Foundation, the Kenan Institute and the Kenan Fund, whose support has allowed the production to achieve this special recognition from the television industry," Laidlaw said.

NETA is a professional association that serves public television licensees and educational entities in all 50 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Annually, it recognizes public television programming in four categories: content production, community engagement, instructional media and promotion.

UNC-TV is North Carolina's statewide public television network, made possible by a unique combination of public funding and private support. UNC-TV's unique programs and services provide people of all ages with enriching, life-changing television. For more information, visit www.unctv.org.

As America’s first state-supported arts school, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.