Accomplished theater professionals to be inducted into Catawba Blue Masque Hall of Fame

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 29, 2016

SALISBURY — Four new inductees into Catawba College’s Blue Masque Hall of Fame will be honored as part of the college’s Homecoming Weekend activities at 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 28. This year’s ceremony and reception will held in Hedrick Little Theatre of the Robertson College-Community Center and is open to the public, with tickets available for purchase through the Catawba College Alumni Office at 704-637-4394 or at

Those being honored include Karl Hales, longtime Catawba College speech and communications professor; Kannan Menon, class of 1974, New York based actor, director and playwright; Patrick Orndorff, class of 1987, professional resident theatre production manager; and Jasika Nicole Pruitt, class of 2002, television, stage and film actress.

The purpose of the Catawba College Blue Masque Hall of Fame is to recognize and perpetuate the noteworthy theater tradition of Catawba College by honoring and memorializing individuals who have made outstanding contributions to this tradition. Inductees into the Hall of Fame must have either attended Catawba College as a full-time student, been employed at Catawba as a full- or part-time faculty or staff member, or contributed to the success of the Blue Masque by performing outstanding service as a volunteer.

Karl Hales has acted locally in 30 stage productions, while directing 27 more. He also served as the emcee of the Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Awards Ceremony for 28 years. Football fans know Hales as the public address announcer at Catawba College since 1980.

Kannan Menon earned the bachelor of arts degree in theater from Catawba College in 1974 and a master of fine arts in theater directing from Tisch School of the Arts in New York City. Currently an attorney working with a small New York investment banking firm, Menon has professional theater credits in both America and abroad.

Patrick Orndorff is currently the production manager for the Resident Ensemble Players at the University of Delaware. Prior to that, he was technical director for the Alley Theater in Houston. Orndorff received a bachelor of arts degree in theatre from Catawba College in 1987 and has worked in professional theater ever since.

Jasika Nicole Pruitt is a 2002 Catawba College theater graduate. Pruitt — known professionally as Jasika Nicole — is best known for her role as agent Astrid Farnsworth in the hit Fox sci-fi series “Fringe.” She has additional professional credits on the New York stage and in film. She also writes, is an illustrator and lends her voice to several popular animated shows.

Tickets to this year’s induction ceremony and reception are $25 each. At 7:30 p.m., immediately preceding the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, current and former Catawba College theater arts students will present a talent showcase. Admission includes the showcase, induction ceremony and a reception following.