October 22, 2008

Jennifer Tanner
Communications Specialist

VSU Professor Wins Georgia Theatre's Highest Award

VALDOSTA - Valdosta State University professor Vicki Pennington received the Leighton Ballew Award for Outstanding Service to Theatre in Georgia at the Georgia Theatre Conference annual convention on Saturday, Oct. 18, in Albany.

The associate professor emeritus of theatre was honored for her extensive work in the profession. Colleague and previous Ballew Award recipient, Jacque Wheeler presented the award, which recognized the many years and "hundreds upon hundreds of lives" Pennington touched.

After obtaining a masters degree in costume design from the University of Florida, she served five years at the Hippodrome State Theatre as a costume designer, musical director, production state manager and scenic artist. In 1990, she joined the VSU community as a resident costume designer and she served as production supervisor of VSU's Jekyll Island Musical Theatre Festival until 1999.

Pennington taught Costume Design, Costume History, Stage Management, Makeup Design and Portfolio and Resume Presentation before retiring from VSU in 2004. She remained at VSU as a part-time faculty member until 2008.

During her tenure at Valdosta State University, Pennington served Georgia Theatre Conference as auditions coordinator for several years. In this capacity, she managed and supervised a state-wide audition that screened actors for the annual Southeastern Theatre Conference professional theatre auditions. Later, Pennington served as executive director of Georgia Theatre Conference, where she was instrumental in the establishment of the GTC Archives at VSU's Odum Library, obtained special project grants from the Georgia Council for the Arts and the Georgia Humanities Council, oversaw the redesign of the GTC logo and website, and initiated on-line registration for the organization.

From 1996 to 2002, Pennington was a member of the Executive Committee of the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC), serving as its President from 2000-2001. SETC is the largest theatre organization of its kind in the United States. In 2005, Pennington was awarded Southeastern Theatre Conference's Suzanne M. Davis Award for distinguished service to theatre in the southeast.

Pennington is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association, the union for professional stage actors and stage managers.

Pennington's extensive credentials are evidence of her hard work long-time dedication to the theatre profession. The Leighton Ballew Award is the highest honor bestowed by Georgia Theatre Conference. Mr. Ballew was a founder of Georgia Theatre Conference and leader in professional and educational theatre in Georgia for many years. Upon receiving the Ballew Award, Pennington becomes a lifetime member of Georgia Theatre Conference and a member of GTC's Georgia Theatre Hall of Fame.

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