The Mississippi Theatre Association named Shannon Robert as the recipient of the 2006 Cowboy Maloney Award, named in honor of former MTA president and former owner of Cowboy Maloney’s Electric City and Appliance Centers in Mississippi.
For the award, the MTA Board of Directors selects an individual who has significantly added to the successful operation of MTA and someone who as promoted theatre throughout the State of Mississippi . The Board looks at actions that reflect a positive image, regional recognition, long tenure, program establishment and/or administrative service, rather than personal gain.
MTA Executive Director Stephen Cunetto said the Board of Directors voted unanimously to bestow the organization’s highest award on Robert.
“The Board recognized how much Shannon has given to theatre in Mississippi and that she embodies all of the qualities of the past recipients of this prestigious award,” he said. “She is a very talented individual who genuinely cares about her students, her peers and her craft.”
Robert currently works as scenic designer, director and associate professor of theatre and communication at William Carey College. She received her Master of Fine Arts at Florida State University and studied scenic design at the Moscow Art Theatre in Russia. She completed her undergraduate work at William Carey College.
Former MTA president and current president of the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) Denise Halbach said Robert deserves the award for her work with the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, SETC and MTA.
“Shannon has brought regional and national recognition to college and university theatre in Mississippi,” she said. “More importantly, Shannon is a dedicated and brilliant teacher who has inspired her students to become theatre artists in their own rights. Her contribution to theatre through her own work and that of her students will have far-reaching effects on theatre nationally.”
Robert has designed for several universities and theatre groups in Mississippi. She has performed, choreographed, directed and/or designed costumes, lights, sets, make-up and hair for 17 seasons of Carey Dinner Theatre.
Robert serves as vice chair of the American College Theatre Festival Region IV and serves on the KCACTF national committee. She also served as the Mississippi representative for SETC and as the past chair of MTA’s college and university division.
Her international theatre credits include working in Scotland, Russia, Slovakia and Kenya. In Kenya, she performed in the production “Smoke on the Mountain” as part of a mission trip to Brackenhurst Baptist Center in Nairobi, Kenya.
Robert has received other awards, such as William Carey College’s Outstanding Faculty Member for 2005 and the 2002 recipient of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Theatre Arts.
The Mississippi Theatre Association seeks to foster appreciation of and participation in children’s, college, community, high school, professional and university theatre in Mississippi. MTA is sponsored in part by a grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.