GREENVILLE, S.C. (July 6, 2018) – Dr. Darren Lawson was named as the third place winner (tie) for The American Prize in Directing for 2017-2018. In consideration for the award, Lawson submitted Bob Jones University’s production of Guiseppe Verdi’s Il Trovatore, which he directed in 2012.
A resident of Greenville, Lawson serves as dean of the School of Fine Arts and Communication at BJU. He holds a BA in rhetoric and public address and an MA in platform arts from BJU as well as a PhD in communication studies from the University of Kansas.
Lawson is a member of the University Classic Players and has portrayed such roles as Cyrano in Cyrano de Bergerac, Leontes in The Winter’s Tale, Henry in King Henry IV, Duke of Buckingham in Richard III: The Terrible Reign, Bottom the Weaver in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macduff in Macbeth, Jaques in As You Like It, Feste in Twelfth Night, and many others. He also serves as one of the stage directors for the BJU Opera Association with productions including Aida, Samson et Dalila, Andrea Chenier, Mefistofele, L’Elisir d’Amore, Rigoletto, and Simeon.
BJU’s production of Il Trovatore, conducted by C. Stanley Eby, included a cast of more than 130 in addition to more than 95 musicians and stage crew. Guest artists James Taylor (Manrico), Laquita Mitchell (Leonora), Mary Phillips (Azucena) and Mark Walters (Count di Luna) joined the BJU cast.
The American Prize is a series of non-profit national competitions in the performing arts providing cash awards, professional adjudication and regional, national and international recognition for the best recorded performances by ensembles and individuals each year in the United States at the professional, college/university, church, community and secondary school levels. Administered by Hat City Music Theater, Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Danbury, Connecticut, The American Prize was founded in 2009 and is awarded annually.