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Several Southwestern College students and faculty attended the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF), Region V, in Lincoln, Neb., Jan. 20-26. Region V comprises Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, and parts of Missouri.
“Any student may attend the festival but there were students who were also invited to attend to perform and Southwestern was right there in the pack of invited guests to compete in those competitions,” says Allyson Moon, director of the theatre program at Southwestern. “Students could attend workshops, a design expo, productions; it is a multi-faceted, week-long packed experience that folks in theatre learn and grow so much from.”
Numerous Southwestern College students earned recognition at the festival.
Meritorious Achievement Awards were earned by:
• Anna Rosell for make-up design in “The Miser”
• Shane Schrag for stage management in “August: Osage County”
• Erin Buster and Danielle Morford for sound design in “August: Osage County”
A large field of actors competed In the Irene Ryan acting competition. It began with 324 nominees and their partners. It was then narrowed down to 64 for the semi-final round and 16 in the finals. Southwestern had three nominees in this competition: Arden Moon and partner Chris Cole; Julia Faust and partner Shane Schrag; and Cooper Hart and partner Nikia Smith. Faust and Schrag advanced to the semi-final round.
Aron Pfingsten wrote and submitted an original 10-minute play that was evaluated by faculty in another region of the country. There were 84 submissions trimmed to six to be read and performed at the festival and Pfingsten’s was one of the six to qualify.
The Southwestern Homecoming production of “The Miser” had a scene selected to be performed at the festival. Only six scenes from across Region V were chosen to perform. Justin Tinker, Jordan Hill, and Austin Davis performed the scene.
The festival also included summer theatre auditions and interviews and musical theatre intensive auditions. SC students participating in the summer theatre auditions included Chris Cole, Julia Faust, Rachel Rose; participating in the musical theatre intensive auditions were Arden Moon and Nikia Smith.
Along with the students already mentioned, also attending the festival were Sydney Anderson, Jordan Angermayr, and Zachary Williams. Roger and Allyson Moon and 2010 graduate Brooke Rowzee also participated.
“Roger and I have this commitment to have our students work after they leave Southwestern College,” says Allyson Moon. “I attended workshops that had to do with the business of this business. I took away new information that there is, perhaps like in any work opportunity, the tools that one needs in order to prepare changes with the times that which you live so I got some updates on some things."
“The students learned about how to design better, how to act better, how to use their physical bodies in new and different ways as actors on stage. They learned new tools for writing; I could go on and on. What students learn is as infinite as what the festival offers.”