Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

By: Jessica Miller | Contributing Writer

Students and faculty from Theatre USA traveled to Spartansburg, South Carolina this past week to participate in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. KCACTF is a national convention sponsored by the Kennedy Center in April and hosts regional festivals in January and February. Five students were in attendance, along with the Theatre chair, and costume director.

There are many components of this festival, but the main one is an audition for the Irene Ryan Scholarship, which amounts to $500. In addition to this scholarship, fellowships, internships, and other scholarships have been given in the past. In order to have the opportunity to audition for this scholarship, participants are nominated based on their work in productions with their university. Before the convention, participants prepare two monologues, two scenes and may choose their partners for the auditions.

In addition to the auditions, the festival hosts a 10-minute play festival. 

“The Ten Minute Play Festival Directing (NPP) is a regional award program designed to support the work of student playwrights and directors,”  the description stated on the website for Region 4. 

In order to be considered a director of a short play, students must take a three-credit hour course in directing, and up to six student directors are chosen to participate in the festival. The student directors also hold auditions for their 10-minute plays that are open to everyone at the festival. Then, staged readings of the plays are produced, working with the student actors and playwrights. 

Both faculty and students enjoyed their time at this year’s Region 4 KCACTF festival. Through the variety of workshops and events, students gained knowledge to further their major.  

“This was my fourth year attending the festival, and as always, it was a fantastic experience. It is one of the things I will miss most upon graduation,”  Lily Webb, a theatre major, said.

The experience of an audition at this scale and the ability to share their passions with other students across the region will not be forgotten.