Published on April 26, 2023 by Ashley Smith  
Bonies 2023

At the end of each school year, Samford’s Department of Theatre and Dance celebrates with the Annual Bonies. The 2023 Bonies took place on Friday, April 21 in Harrison Theatre. The awards event was named by retired faculty member Barbara Sloan, combining Tony Awards with the “bone” held by Samford’s mascot Spike the dog. Sloan recently provided funding for a new endowed scholarship for a theatre student excelling in costume design and production.

The 2022-23 season was a busy one with a schedule full of student-led projects and mainstage productions.  Thanks to our sponsors Mike and Mary Anne Freeman and Emma Taylor for their support of this dynamic season.

“As the school year draws to a close, we look back on a crazy season filled with 24 senior projects, 4 full-length underground shows, 9 one acts and 27 ten-minute plays and a theatre for youth tour, in addition to our full mainstage season of opera, dance and theatre productions.  Given all that, we’re a little tired but buoyed up by the tremendous support from our campus community, and looking forward to seeing what our talented senior class will do next after graduation,” said Mark Castle, chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance.

At the Bonies, students receive both faculty and student selected awards. Congratulations to these individuals for receiving the following faculty designated awards: Outstanding Freshmen, Jordan Rehm; Outstanding Sophomore, Alyssa Douglass; Best Playwright, Braydie Aldrich; Actor/Tech Award, Meredith Warren; Eric Olson Technical Theatre Award, Alex Felts; Julie Averett Philips Spirit of Dance Award, Abby Denning and Jensen Sutton; Trailblazer Award, Maddie Jayne Austin/Brady Hosmer; Gail Patrick Directing Award, Anna Stevens; Toni Sparks (Spirit of Theatre) Award (junior), Olivia Sundberg; Jesse Bates Award, Tollie Boone/Hope McMahone; Barbara Sloan Costume Design and Technology Award, McKenna Varner; Outstanding Theatre Major, Amy Ethington, Grayson Johns; and Harold Hunt Outstanding Alumni Award, Katie Beazley.

In addition to faculty awards, students vote for their peers. This year’s awards went to: Best Leading Performer in a Musical/Opera, Goldie Hatch as Officer Lockstock (Urinetown the Musical), Grayson Johns as Bobby Strong (Urinetown the Musical); Best Leading Performer in a Play, Goldie Hatch as Bart Simpson (Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play) and Kirsten Erickson/Charlotte Godat as Julia (The Birds); Best Supporting Performer in a Musical or Opera, Samantha Riggs as Officer Barrel (Urinetown the Musical) and Bradley Seals as Mr. McQueen (Urinetown the Musical); Best Supporting Performer in a Play, Braydie Aldrich as Homer Simpson/Gibson/Troy McClure (Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play) and Jackson Bradshaw/Maddox Gates as Tierney (The Birds); Best Ensemble in a Mainstage, Urinetown the Musical; Outstanding Student Choreography, Mikayla Hansen for “Processing” (Masterpieces); Outstanding Stage Management for a Mainstage, Amy Ethington (Urinetown the Musical);Best Scenic Design for a Mainstage, Sarah Robbins (Urinetown the Musical); Best Lighting Design for a Mainstage, Tollie Boone (Urinetown the Musical); Best Costume Design for a Mainstage, McKenna Varner (Urinetown the Musical); Best Prop Design for a Mainstage, Braydie Aldrich/Anna Stevens, (Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play); Best Hair and Makeup Design for a Mainstage, Stephanie Leary (Urinetown the Musical).

Planning for next season is well underway. “We’re looking forward to kicking off a new season in the fall beginning with an exciting Emma Taylor Theatre for Youth production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and including not one, but two world premieres.  We hope that you will come back and join us!” said Castle. The School of the Arts events calendar will have all of the events posted in July. 

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.