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Officials at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) announced that Mr. Michael J. Barnes will be formally inducted into the NEO Fine Arts Hall of Fame on Friday, March 4, at 5:30 p.m. in the Charles Banks Wilson Art and Cultural Education Center in Kah-Ne Hall. All alumni and friends of the college are invited to attend. Barnes will join three other honorees: Ted Watts, Susan Wright Mogilka, and Melissa Dill-Behnke. Barnes is currently the artistic director of the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance at Wayne State University and serves as the voice, speech, and accent specialist.

Prior to serving as artistic director, he oversaw the Bachelor of Fine Arts program in Acting for four years. He earned his master of fine arts from the National Theatre Conservatory and a bachelor of fine arts from the University of Oklahoma. “As a member of the Fine Arts faculty, I am so proud of Michael’s accomplishments since NEO,” said Mary Susan Whaley, NEO choir director and instructor. “He is passing along the love of theatre and skills learned at NEO to students in the university setting, while continuing to perform on the stage.”

Barnes has served extensively as an acting coach on feature films including Convicted, Broken Bridges, and The Witch: a New England Folktale. Among Barnes’ students are actors such as Kelly Preston, Toby Keith, Burt Reynolds, Rainn Wilson, and many others. Although his areas of expertise revolve around accents for stage and film, Barnes focuses his research efforts on ancient Greek pronunciation. To RSVP for the ceremony, please contact Jordan Adams, coordinator of public information and marketing at Jordan.m.adams@neo.edu or 918-540-6211. Following the ceremony, the NEO Fine Arts Department will perform “Legally Blonde” at 7:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Auditorium. Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for students and seniors, and free with a valid NEO I.D.

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