ACU alumni honored in Austin

Posted June 16, 2009

Abilene Christian University Annika Johansson graduated in 2006 with a degree in theatre and dreams of succeeding as a positive influence in a predominantly non-Christian industry. Her recent recognition by Austin critics has acknowledged her success. Johansson was named Best Actor in a Leading Role for her performance as "Cathy" in the musical "The Last Five Years" at the 14th annual Austin Critics Table Awards.

"I was fortunate to get to see Annika in her award-winning performance, and she was electric. The award was certainly well-deserved," said Adam Hester, chair of the ACU Theatre department. "It's been exciting to see ACU Theatre alums' success post-graduation."

Three other ACU alumni joined Johansson earning honors at the ceremony. Penfold Theatre Company of Austin, a new company started by three ACU Theatre alumni, Sean Martin ('03), Ryan Crowder ('04) and Nathan Jerkins ('05), received the award for Best Musical Production of 2008-09.

Martin, Crowder and Jenkins received Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees from ACU, and went on to act in, direct, design and produce theatrical productions all over the nation. Their mission is to allow artists to create high-quality work within their own Texas community, celebrating and affirming the state's diverse cultural identity.

The Austin Critics' Table Awards are given each year to the best productions and performances for the season in the Austin area. For the 2008-09 season, only four individual actors were honored for their performances.

Johansson most recently performed at the Globe New Center for the Performing Arts in Amarillo, Texas to an overflow audience with David Gaschen and Gary Morris. She also has performed Chicago.

To learn more about ACU's Department of Theatre, visit their website.