Rhodes’ Julia “Cookie” Ewing Honored at Ostrander Awards


Publication Date: 8/31/2007

Bill Short and Cookie Ewing at Ostrander Awards Ceremony

Several Rhodes thespians and a special “Cookie” were honored at the 24th annual Ostrander Awards Ceremony for Excellence in Memphis Theatre on August 26.

Julia “Cookie” Ewing, professor of Theatre and artistic director of McCoy Theatre, won the prestigious Eugart Yerian Award for Lifetime Service to Memphis Theatre. She is dedicating the award to her son William Gene Gossett Jr. for his “lifetime support.”

Ewing, who has worked with McCoy for more than 30 years, is a distinguished actress, director and producer in the Memphis theater community. 

“I’ve been very lucky on this campus,” she says. “I’ve been surrounded by people who are intelligent and compassionate and have an artistic flair and a desire to do something.”

Bill Short, coordinator of public services at Rhodes, says the students are the lucky ones. “Her students get more than knowledge; they get a mentor and a lifelong friend.”
Short was last year’s recipient of the Eugart Yerian award. At this year’s Ostrander Awards Ceremony,  he won in the best props category for his work on Playhouse on the Square’s production of “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play.” A skilled set designer, he also was nominated for best set dressing for his work on the same play. 

All three of McCoy’s productions from last season -- “Waiting for Godot,” “Dancing at Lughnasa” and “Agnes of God” -- were nominated for College Ostrander Awards. 

Nominated for nine honors, “Waiting for Godot” took home six awards, including best dramatic production. Winners included Alli Robbins ’95 for best costumes, Thomas Kelly ’07 for best supporting actor in a drama and Pamela Poletti for best direction of a drama.  Jason Hansen ’08 and Nate Smith ’08 shared the honor of best leading actor in a drama. The entire cast won best ensemble. Nominations included Daniel Sturtevant ’08 for best supporting actor in a drama, and assistant professor Laura Canon for excellence in set design and excellence in lighting.

“Dancing at Lughnasa” was nominated for seven awards, including best dramatic production and best ensemble acting.  Nominations included director Jerre Dye for best choreography and stage combat, Shannon King ’09 for best supporting actress in a drama, Pete Montgomery ’99 for best leading actor in a drama, Dye for best direction of a drama and Alicia Queen ’10 for best leading actress in a drama.  Queen also won best supporting actress in a drama for her work in “Agnes of God.” 

Eric Sefton ’01 won best sound design for his work on Germantown Community Theatre’s production of “Romeo and Juliet.”

McCoy’s plans for this year include an upcoming production of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Ewing will serve as a producer.

(information compiled by Bryan Hearn, Rhodes Student Associate in the Rhodes Communications Office)