July 1, 2011 / For Release Upon Receipt
Media Contact: Marla Carpenter, 336-770-3337,



Drama Dean Gerald Freedman Nominated for Directing the Production


WINSTON-SALEM – Travis McHale, a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, has received an award from the Connecticut Critics Circle for his lighting design of The Diary of Anne Frank, which was produced last fall at the prestigious Westport Country Playhouse in Westport, Conn.

In addition to Best Lighting Design, the production received four nominations, including Best Play, Best Set Design, and Best Director for Gerald Freedman, UNCSA’s Dean of Drama. Freedman was notified of his nomination last month while recovering from a stroke he suffered in February.

McHale received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2005 from UNCSA’s School of Design and Production.

The cast also included Drama alumna Lauren Culpepper (2008 Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting). Senior Drama directing majors Andy Madson, Sam Mandlebaum, Drew Perrin, Harry Poster and Danielle Rennalls were interns on the production.

Since 1990, the Connecticut Critics Circle -- a statewide organization of reviewers, feature writers, columnists, and broadcasters -- has honored actors, directors, designers and others who work in professional theatre in the state.

The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is the first state-supported, residential school of its kind in the nation. Established as the North Carolina School of the Arts by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, UNCSA opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. More than 1,100 students from high school through graduate school train for careers in the arts in five professional schools: Dance, Design and Production (including a Visual Arts Program), Drama, Filmmaking, and Music. UNCSA is the state’s only public arts conservatory, dedicated entirely to the professional training of talented students in the performing, visual and moving image arts. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.