Several students and faculty attended the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF), Region V, in Lincoln, Neb., Jan. 19-24.  Region V comprises Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, and parts of Missouri.

Students participated in several intensive sessions that included design and performance, musical theatre, lighting, and costume design.

“Everyone who participates basically gets a week’s worth of information and/or training in one day,” says Allyson Moon, director of the theatre program at Southwestern College. 

In the musical theatre intensive session, 60 people competed and 20 were chosen, including Nikia Smith from Southwestern.  Smith sang “Alto’s Lament” by Zina Goldrich and Marcy Heisler.

Jordan Snow and Mariah Warren competed in the summer theater auditions.  Each has had multiple callbacks from companies including Actors Theatre of Louisville, Brownville Village Theatre, Highland Summer Theatre, Prairie Repertory Theatre, and Crane River Summer Theatre.

“One outcome of the training students receive at Southwestern College, is that they are prepared  to be able to compete in the summer theatre auditions against other students from our eight state region and be called back for potential summer employment,” Moon says.  “Of course, we encourage SC to students to compete in the other events at the festival but when they are able to audition or interview for the summer theatre positions, they are gaining real world experience that will help to take them to the next level of employment.”

Rachel Rose received a certificate of merit for her “Lion in Winter” costume designs.   Though she did not win the costume design exhibit competition, this experience allowed her to significantly advance her design portfolio materials and communicate face to face with working professionals.  Even in the competitive events, education is at the center of the KCACTF experience.

“KCACTF is a critical part of each student’s education.  Truly, the entire week is one big theatre intensive event,” Moon says.  “Students who are primarily actors or primarily technicians or are a combination have the opportunity to attend workshops, multiple workshops, which cover every aspect of theatre.”

The KCACTF attendees are grateful to both the Southwestern College Student Government Association and Campus Players, organizations that helped underwrite the cost of festival attendance.