Neena Kelfstrom

Runnels Theatre Program Chairwoman and drama teacher Neena Kelfstrom has been selected to receive the 2014 Distinguished Fine Arts Alumni Award from McMurry University in Abilene, Texas, school officials said.

The award honors McMurry alumni who have made significant contributions to their professions and communities, a news release said.

Kelfstrom, who specializes in theater for youth, said she was excited and surprised to receive the award from her alma mater.

A theater educator, director and actor in Louisiana and Texas for more than 20 years, Kelfstrom holds a bachelor of arts in theater from McMurry University and a master of fine arts in theater with an emphasis in performance from LSU.

She has served as both artistic and executive director of Playmakers of Baton Rouge, acted and directed at Theatre Baton Rouge and been active in the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities in the Prime Time for Reading Program. She also taught theater as an adjunct professor at LSU and has served as a volunteer reader for Louisiana Voices: Audio Book Program for the Blind.

This summer, Kelfstrom directed Playmakers of Baton Rouge’s production of “Beauty and the Beast” and the Runnels Theatre’s community musical “Guys and Dolls.”

She accepted the award Oct. 10 at a presentation ceremony at McMurry University in Abilene, Texas.

Kelfstrom teaches drama and technical theater at Runnels School, where she is directing a cast of junior and senior high students in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”