Year-End Banquet Honors Top WT Theatre Students


Branding Iron Theatre Award winners for West Texas A&M University Theatre, in their royal gala attire, include, back from left, Sawyer Landry, Raimar Ortiz, Christian Howard, Edgar Camarena, Zachary Todd, Signe Elder and Leighson Selman, and front from left, Kamryn Alvarez, R.J. Flud, Riley Harbour, Kelli Zapalac and Aidan Tsichlis.

CANYON, Texas — West Texas A&M University students both from on stage and behind the scenes recently were honored at a year-end ceremony for WT Theatre.

The annual Branding Iron Theatre Awards on May 11 recognized students for their classroom work and their participation in the Department of Art, Theatre and Dance’s four theatrical productions in 2022-23: “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” “The Laramie Project,” “Sweeney Todd” and “Bull in a China Shop.”

“This year WT Theatre laughed at spellers; cried in Laramie, Wyoming; were cut to the bone with ‘Sweeney’; and felt the love of Wooley and Marks in ‘Bull’,” said Anne Medlock, department head. “The variety of this season gave actors, designers, technicians and directors a wide variety of worlds to create and play in. I am very proud of all the students recognized today.”

The overall achievement award winner was Aidan Tsichlis, a senior musical theatre major from Plano.

Other top award winners were Sawyer Landry, a senior theatre major from Canadian, for achievement in acting; R.J. Flud, a senior musical theatre major from Midland, for achievement in musical theatre; Riley Harbour, a sophomore theatre education major from Amarillo, for achievement in theatre education; Kamryn Alvarez, a senior from Earth, for achievement in design and technology; Edgar Camarena, a senior theatre major from Amarillo, for the Treston Johnson Spirit Award; and Raimar Ortiz, a junior theatre major from Lubbock, for the New Theatre Buff Award.

Performance and technical award winners include:

  • Lead performance: Flud for the title character in “Sweeney Todd” and Landry as an ensemble member in “Laramie Project”;
  • Supporting Performance: Camarena as an ensemble member in “Laramie Project” and Zachary Todd, a senior musical theatre major from Flower Mound, as Beadle Bamford in “Sweeney Todd”;
  • Featured Performer: Signe Elder, a senior musical theatre major from Lubbock, as Pearl and Leighson Selman, a junior musical theatre major from Amarillo, as Felicity, both in “Bull in a China Shop”;
  • Hair and makeup: Kelli Zapalac, a junior theatre major from La Grange, for “Sweeney Todd”;
  • Props: Ortiz for “Sweeney Todd”;
  • Sound: Christian Howard, a senior theatre major from Lubbock, for “Bull in a China Shop”; and
  • Stage Management: Alvarez for “Sweeney Todd.”

Fostering an appreciation for the arts and engaging and retaining the best students are key components of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the campaign — which publicly launched in September 2021— has raised more than $125 million and will continue through 2025.