Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

KCACTF

Since 2007, CSU Theatre has received regional and national honors, awards, and scholarships at the annual Kennedy Center for American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) for creative accomplishments in theatre productions staged at the University. At the regional competition (the eight-state Region VII), young theatre practitioners compete with almost 1,000 students from theatre programs throughout our region. Every April, the regional winners are then flown to Washington D.C. for the national competition. There they compete with the winners from the other seven U.S. regions, where national award winners are chosen by a panel of discipline-discrete judges made up of highly visible theatre professionals.

For more than a decade, CSU students distinguished themselves as regional and national award-winners in stage management, acting, lighting design, sound design, and playwriting.

2020 KCACTF Region VII

The 2020 KCACTF Region VII is being hosted by Colorado State University. The annual event will take place at the University Center for the Arts on February 16—21, 2020. Details and registration at kcactf7.org.

KCACTF Awards and News

2018 Region VII Awards

CSU Theatre Students Do It Again

by Jennifer Clary on Tuesday, February 27, 2018

2018 Kennedy Center American Colleges Theatre Festival winners from CSU TheatreEarlier this semester, CSU students competed at the annual Region 7 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF), which brings together exceptional student actors and technicians from across the western states.

The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival is a national theatre program, with over 20,000 participants annually, and, according to the organization’s website, “For 50 years, the organization has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college theater in the United States.”

On Feb. 19-23, more than 1,000 theatre students from Region 7 gathered in Spokane, Washington. During the week-long conference, they participated in workshops; attended symposia, colloquies, and professional presentations; worked with resident artists; and competed for honors, awards, and scholarships for their creative accomplishments in theatre productions at staged at their schools. The KCACTF network of 700 academic institutions throughout the country includes Region 7, comprised of nine western states: Alaska, northern Calif., Colo., Idaho, Mont., northern Nev., Ore., Wash., and Wyo.

At the 2018 regional festival, CSU Theatre students won many technical theatre awards and two students qualified for the national festival taking place at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.  On April 9-14. CSU students have won top awards at KCACTF regionals for the last dozen years, and it is the fourth year in a row that they have qualified for finals.

Region VII Awards:
Meritorious Achievement in Lighting: Jorrey Calvo, junior theatre major, for his work on The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui by Bertolt Brecht
Meritorious Achievement in Lighting: David Van Name, senior theatre major, for his work on Little Shop of Horrors: The Musical by Howard Ashman
Meritorious Achievement in Scenic Design: Erin Welch, senior theatre major, for her work on Love & Information by Caryl Churchill
Regional Design Winner Scenic Design: Shay Dite, senior theatre major, for her work on The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui by Bertolt Brecht
Seven Devils Playwright Conference Fellowship: Shay Dite
National KCACTF Award in Sound Design: Chandler Oppenheimer, senior theatre major, for his work on Love & Information by Caryl Churchill
National KCACTF Award in Lighting Design: Shaye Evans, junior theatre major, for her work on Three Sistersby Anton Chekhov

2018 CSU Theatre Travels to Regional Conference
Bing Crosby Theatre marquee says "Theatre Arts Convention All Week"

The Bing Crosby Theatre in Spokane, Washington is hosting many of the week's events. Photo by CSU student Lela Smith

Northern Exposure: CSU Theatre Travels to KCACTF Regional Conference

By Jennifer Clary Jacobs with Laura Jones

For Laura Jones, one of her favorite weeks of the year is happening right now!

The long-time theatre professor is spending Feb. 19-23 in Spokane, Washington at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival's regional conference, taking more than three dozen students and faculty with her to the final conference before her retirement from Colorado State University in May.

Throughout 2017, local KCACTF representatives attended each CSU theatre production, giving response ratings, which qualified students for regional competition. Categories include Design and Technology Awards and the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship auditions for monologues and two-person scenes, however, the top honor is being selected for a production presentation. Only three universities are invited each year with CSU's production of Love and Information, directed by Laura Jones, receiving one of the coveted production slots.

At competitions occurring throughout the country this month, young theatre practitioners are competing with students from theatre programs from across each region; CSU is part of the eight-state Region VII.

"The honor, the experience, and the opportunity for theatre students is what a bowl bid, or an invitation to the big dance is for student athletes," explains Jones with excitement! "It's 'as good as it gets' and 'the best of the best' in terms of collegiate theatre competitions," she added.

Since 1969, the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) has set a high barre for college theatre yield, giving student attendees the chance to gain perspective on their own talent and aspirations. Since theatre is a "live medium of artistic expression," Jones believes it is imperative for students to gather face-to-face in order to appreciate and better understand the work of their peers.

"They gain invaluable perspective on their own accomplishments by having a rare chance to compare notes, techniques, and opinions with theatre people outside of the University Center for the Arts' ivy-covered walls," stated Jones.

CSU Theatre's KCACTF contingent came in at thirty-nine, and is comprised of four faculty, two staff members, and most importantly, thirty-three students, who are all competing as members of the touring company of Love and Information, and as designers and technicians who have prepared physical examples of their research, concepts, and execution on CSU productions during the 2017 calendar year. Additionally, nine of the CSU students, plus their partners, are competing in the prestigious Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship.

For more than a decade, CSU students have distinguished themselves as regional award-winners, followed by attending the national competition that is held each April in Washington, D.C. There, judged by highly visible theatre professionals, they compete for national awards; many CSU students have been successful at the highest level.

"The exposure for our program on a regional and national level is significant," concludes Jones about the competition entries that have consistently brought recognition to CSU Theatre, resulting in substantial program growth. "No event offers the same amount of street cred, as both peer and professional adjudications validate the excellence of CSU Theatre."

 

2017 Region VII Awards
The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui 2017 Production PhotoThe Colorado State University Theatre Department and the University Center for the Arts present "The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui" written by Bertolt Brecht and directed by Walt Jones. February 27, 2017

 

 

CSU Theatre Majors Win Awards at Regional KCACTF 2017

by Jennifer Clary on Thursday, March 30, 2017

CSU Theatre received excellent scores from Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival representative Laura Cuetera for the recent production of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui by Bertolt Brecht, directed by Walt Jones. It is standard practice for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) - the national theatre program dedicated to the improvement of collegiate theatre in the United States - to send representatives to score and provide feedback on submitted productions.

In 2012, CSU Theatre’s original production of The Kafka Project, written by Walt Jones and the COMPANY, with music by Assistant Professor of Composition James David, was a KCACTF regional finalist after receiving excellent marks.

Officially called a 'response,' ratings given by Ms. Cuetera now qualify many CSU Theatre cast members and design students for KCACTF sponsored awards. Students will compete at the KCACTF Region 7 conference in Spring 2018; categories include Design and Technology Awards and the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Auditions for monologues and two-person scenes.

The following written response for The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, performed on March 10, 2017, was submitted to the KCACTF Regional Chair by Laura Cuetera, theatre faculty member at the University of Colorado at Denver, College of Arts and Media:

Irene Ryan Dept: Zack Rickert
Irene Ryan Respondent: Bruce Gammonley
Irene Ryan Participating: N/A but if alternate is needed: Katie Shriver
Merit 1 (for Costume Design): Kyle Pibbs (Costumes), Shelby Vicino (Hair/make-up)
Merit 2 (for Scenic Design): Shay Dite
Merit 3 (for Lighting Design): Jorrey Calvo (Lighting), Cooper Adams (Projections)
Merit 4 (for Sound Design): Lindsay Davis
Merit 5 (for Ensemble): Performance and Design Ensemble
Merit 6 (for Stage Management): Adam Oconnell and Run Crew
Other: Walt Jones (Director) and Associate Directors: Heather Adams, Heather Salyer, and Maon Weiss
Acting/Directing Rating: Excellent (10 pts)
Design/Tech Rating: Excellent (10 pts)

The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui 2017 Production Photo

The Colorado State University Theatre Department and the University Center for the Arts present "The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui" written by Bertolt Brecht and directed by Walt Jones. February 27, 2017

A final component of Ms. Cuetera's written response was a concluding description that described The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui as an “extraordinary and richly detailed achievement of a provocative and enormously demanding text. Uncompromising in its focus on the historical context as dictated by the playwright, the production's committed authenticity to its truth offers a chilling reflection of times today and seems to have emerged as a ‘must see’ for entire campus community.”

Reflecting on the time spent preparing Arturo Ui, Professor Jones was extremely satisfied with the production. “The cast, creative team, and crew worked tirelessly throughout the rehearsal process to crack this text and bring an important work to the stage,” said Jones. “I’m pleased that they can be validated this way.”

2016 High Scores for CSU Theatre Production

CSU Theatre Given High Marks by KCACTF

by Jennifer Clary on Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui 2017 Production Photo

The Colorado State University Theatre Department and the University Center for the Arts present "The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui" written by Bertolt Brecht and directed by Walt Jones. February 27, 2017

CSU Theatre received excellent scores from Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival representative Laura Cuetera for the recent production of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui by Bertolt Brecht, directed by Walt Jones. It is standard practice for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) - the national theatre program dedicated to the improvement of collegiate theatre in the United States - to send representatives to score and provide feedback on submitted productions.

In 2012, CSU Theatre’s original production of The Kafka Project, written by Walt Jones and the COMPANY, with music by Assistant Professor of Composition James David, was a KCACTF regional finalist after receiving excellent marks.

Officially called a 'response,' ratings given by Ms. Cuetera now qualify many CSU Theatre cast members and design students for KCACTF sponsored awards. Students will compete at the KCACTF Region 7 conference in Spring 2018; categories include Design and Technology Awards and the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Auditions for monologues and two-person scenes.

The following written response for The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, performed on March 10, 2017, was submitted to the KCACTF Regional Chair by Laura Cuetera, theatre faculty member at the University of Colorado at Denver, College of Arts and Media:

  • Irene Ryan Dept: Zack Rickert
  • Irene Ryan Respondent: Bruce Gammonley
  • Irene Ryan Participating: N/A but if alternate is needed: Katie Shriver
  • Merit 1 (for Costume Design): Kyle Pibbs (Costumes), Shelby Vicino (Hair/make-up)
  • Merit 2 (for Scenic Design): Shay Dite
  • Merit 3 (for Lighting Design): Jorrey Calvo (Lighting), Cooper Adams (Projections)
  • Merit 4 (for Sound Design): Lindsay Davis
  • Merit 5 (for Ensemble): Performance and Design Ensemble
  • Merit 6 (for Stage Management): Adam Oconnell and Run Crew
  • Other: Walt Jones (Director) and Associate Directors: Heather Adams, Heather Salyer, and Maon Weiss
  • Acting/Directing Rating: Excellent (10 pts)
  • Design/Tech Rating: Excellent (10 pts)

A final component of Ms. Cuetera's written response was a concluding description that described The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui as an “extraordinary and richly detailed achievement of a provocative and enormously demanding text. Uncompromising in its focus on the historical context as dictated by the playwright, the production's committed authenticity to its truth offers a chilling reflection of times today and seems to have emerged as a ‘must see’ for entire campus community.”

Reflecting on the time spent preparing Arturo Ui, Professor Jones was extremely satisfied with the production. “The cast, creative team, and crew worked tirelessly throughout the rehearsal process to crack this text and bring an important work to the stage,” said Jones. “I’m pleased that they can be validated this way.”

2016 Region VII Awards

Last weekend, a few dozen Colorado State University Theatre students and faculty attended the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival regional event. For 2016, the Region Seven festival was held at the Embassy Suites Denver Downtown, Feb. 15-19, and was hosted in tandem by the Community College Of Denver, Metropolitan State University, and the University of Colorado at Denver.

The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) annually recognizes excellence in production in addition to offering student artists individual recognition through awards and scholarships in areas of playwriting, acting, criticism, directing, and design. CSU Students from the Design and Technology, Performance, Playwriting and Dramatic Literature, and Directing concentrations competed in various categories, with five students winning six awards.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our strong showing at regionals this year,” said Set Design Professor Roger Hanna. “We continued the CSU tradition of earning the top prizes in sound design, as well as winning other design areas.”

The KCACTF Region 7 is comprised of nine western states including Alaska, northern Calif., Colo., Idaho, Mont., northern Nev., Ore., Wash., and Wyo. Over 1,000 theatre students from the region convene annually to celebrate the creative process, view each other’s work, and share experiences within the community of theatre art.

KCACTF is a national program, with over 18,000 participants annually, and, according to the organization’s website, “[KCACTF] has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college theatre in the United States.”

By winning National Awards for their work on last year’s CSU Theatre production of The Hobbit by Patricia Gray, recent graduate JJ Margolis and senior Mackenzie Cunningham are eligible to compete at the KCACTF National Festival in Washington D.C., April 11-16, 2016. This is Cunningham's second consecutive appearance at the national competition.

“I’m especially delighted to see Mackenzie earn not just one top prize, but both of them – she has been considering job offers all weekend,” said Hanna.  “These wins confirm what we already knew: we have the best theatre design program, with the best students, in the region!”

Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival 2016 Winners

Front row: MacKenzie Cunningham, Lindsay Davis
Back row: Roger Hanna, JJ Margolis, Cooper Adams, Andrew McIntyre

Meritorious Achievement Awards

Lindsay Davis - Scenic Design, Non-Realized
Andrew McIntyre - Lighting Design

Regional Winners

Cooper Adams - Sound Design
Mackenzie Cunningman - Society of Properties Artisan Managers Award

National Awards

JJ Margolis - Sound Design
Mackenzie Cunningham - Allied Crafts

2015 Region VII Awards

Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival 2015 Students

#KCACTF: Theatre Students represent CSU at Regional Kennedy Center Festival

by Jennifer Clary on Friday, March 20, 2015

Each year, CSU students participate in the Region 7 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF), which brings together student actors and technicians who do exceptional work in their field. This year, the group of 13 CSU students who attended with faculty member Price Johnston travelled to Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Wash.

The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival is a national theatre program, with over 18,000 participants annually, and, according to the organization’s website, “[KCACTF] has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college theatre in the United States."

Alex Billman 2015 Theatrical Design Excellence Award WinnerAlex Billman 2015 Theatrical Design Excellence Award WinnerThe KCACTF Region 7 is comprised of nine western states including Alaska, northern Calif., Colo., Idaho, Mont., northern Nev., Ore., Wash., and Wyo. Over 1,000 theatre students from Region 7 convene annually to participate in workshops; attend symposia, colloquies, and professional presentations; work with resident artists; and compete for honors, awards, and scholarships for their creative accomplishments in theatre productions at staged at their schools.

CSU had three actors nominated for the Irene Ryan Competition, named for the famous American Actress from the 1950’s. One of these students was senior Ryan Miller, for his leading role in The Night of the Iguana (Spring 2014). Ryan will also play the role of Gandalf in CSU’s upcoming production of The Hobbit (Spring 2015). CSU students also competed in several technical theatre areas, including sound design, stage management, properties design, and scenic design. CSU enjoys a history of particularly excelling in the technical competitions at KCACTF, and this year was no exception. Mackenzie Cunningham, a junior theatre major, received a Meritorious Achievement Award for her properties design in A Year with Frog and Toad (Fall 2014). Senior theatre major Alex Billman won Best Sound Design for his work on The Night of the Iguana and will take his design to compete in Washington, D.C. at the national competition in April.

Mackenzie Cunningham pictured with her Allied Design Award

Mackenzie Cunningham (’16) received an Allied Design and Technologies Meritorious Achievement Award

While these competitions are the reason most students from universities across our nine-state region take a week during the school year to travel to another state and attend KCACTF, the festival also offers considerable professional development and networking opportunities for students. Not only are there auditions that give soon-to-graduate actors job opportunities around the country, but also ten-minute play auditions to perform in original student-written plays during the festival. This year, approximately 180 student festival-goers auditioned, and only 20 students were finally chosen to be part of these staged readings – six of which were from Colorado State University.

Full productions that Universities mount throughout the year can also apply to be in the running to come and perform for one night at the festival. Three years ago when CSU hosted the KCACTF Region 7 festival, CSU’s original The Kafka Project was chosen to perform. This year these shows came from Linfield College, University of Wyoming, and Diablo Valley College.

The festival is a time for students from CSU to not only get to know each other better, but also meet students from other universities who are passionate about the same things.

“I got to spend the week with other people who have the same kind of aspirations and dreams that I do, [which] gives me motivation to keep working that much harder on what I do,” senior Chris Olson wrote of his experience this year. Chris competed in the Irene Ryan Competition and was cast in a 10-minute play. “I think it made me a better performer and able to advocate for the arts as a whole,” he said. “CSU students really made a big impact at this festival, and next year when it is held in Denver, we will be there and will be all the more ready to have these same experiences and even better results in their competitions.” Chris was nominated for his role as the King of Hearts in Alice and Wonderland (Spring 2014) and will be playing Bilbo Baggins in CSU’s upcoming production of The Hobbit.

Year after year, KCACTF allows students opportunities to network, perform, compete, and grow amongst their peers from around the country. Junior theatre major Lauren Scott, who attended the festival for the first time this year, said she “left feeling so proud of all of my hard work, even more passionate for this crazy business and a little less overwhelmed about where I will be going once I graduate.”

The 2016 KCACTF Region 7 conference will be back in Colorado after three years away; this time hosted by the University of Colorado-Denver.

Regional Awards:

Alex Billman (’15) won the Theatrical Design Excellence Award in the Sound Design category for his work on the CSU production of The Night of the Iguana. He will attend the national conference in April.

Mackenzie Cunningham (’16) received an Allied Design and Technologies Meritorious Achievement Award for her work on the CSU production of A Year with Frog and Toad.

2014 Region VII Awards

Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region VI 2016 Logo

CSU Theatre Students Win at KCACTF Regional Event

by Jennifer Clary on Tuesday, February 25, 2014

CSU Theatre Students once again win Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival honors at the 2014 regional event. For the eighth consecutive year, students from Colorado State University’s theatre program took home major awards at the regional Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, held at the Boise State University, Feb. 17-21, 2014.

The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival is a national theater program, with over 18,000 participants annually, and according to the organization’s website, “[KCACTF] has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college theatre in the United States.”

Region VII is comprised of nine western states including Alaska, northern Calif., Colo., Idaho, Mont., northern Nev., Ore., Wash. and Wyo. Over 1,000 theatre students from Region VII convene annually to participate in workshops; attend symposia and colloquies and professional presentation; work with resident artists; and compete for honors, awards, and scholarships for their creative accomplishments in theatre productions at staged at their schools.

Students winning regional awards will travel to Washington, D.C., April 14-29, 2014, to compete at the 48th annual Kennedy Center national conference, where, since 2007, CSU students have distinguished themselves as national award-winners in Stage Management, Acting, Lighting Design, Sound Design, and Playwriting. National winners are selected by discipline-discrete judges from a panel of highly visible theatre professionals.

Comic Potential 2013 Production Photo

Comic Potential by Alan Ayckbourn, directed by Eric Prince

2014 REGIONAL AWARDS

Comic Potential by Alan Ayckbourn, directed by Eric Prince

National Finalists and Region 7 Winners (Going to Washington DC in April)
Andrew Killion: Lighting Design for Evil Dead: The Musical
Emma Kimball: Sound Design for Comic Potential

Region 7 Winner – Lighting/Projection Design and Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas Scholarship Recipient (Going to Las Vegas in June)
John Erickson: Projection Design – Little Women

California State University – Summer Arts Program Scholarship
Ben Hilzer (Music Theatre)

2013 Region VII Awards

The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival 2012 Logo

CSU theatre wins regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival honors

Thursday, March 28, 2013

For the six consecutive year, students from Colorado State University’s theatre program took home major awards at the regional Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, held at American River College in Sacramento, Calif. from Feb. 18 - 22, 2013.

The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival is a national theater program, with over 18,000 participants annually, and according to the organization’s website, “[KCACTF] has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college theatre in the United States.”

Region VII is comprised of nine western states including Alaska, northern Calif., Colo., Idaho, Mont., northern Nev., Ore., Wash. and Wyo. Over 1,000 theatre students from Region VII convene annually to participate in workshops; attend symposia and colloquies and professional presentation; work with resident artists; and compete for honors, awards, and scholarships for their creative accomplishments in theatre productions at staged at their schools.

Students winning regional awards will travel to Washington, D.C., April 15-20, 2013, to compete at the 45th annual Kennedy Center national conference, where, since 2007, CSU students have distinguished themselves as national award-winners in Stage Management, Acting, Lighting Design, Sound Design, and Playwriting. National winners are selected by discipline-discrete judges from a panel of highly visible theatre professionals.

2013 Regional Awards
David Culp (CSU ‘14) was the Design, Tech and Management: Sound Design Winner for his work on the CSU production of A Christmas Story. He will attend the national conference as a finalist in April.

Mackenzie Mulligan (’14) was the Design, Tech and Management: Lighting Design Winner for her work on the CSU production of Spring Awakening. She will attend the national conference as a finalist in April.

KC Cseresnyes (’13) won a Stage Management Meritorious Achievement award for his work on the CSU production of A Christmas Story.

Dr. Laura Jones, CSU professor, won the ATHE/KCACTF Innovation Teaching Award, presented at the festival by a representative from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education.

2012 CSU Hosts KCACTF Region VII

Hosting KCACTF: A Look Back

 
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
By Brian Hanlin

The dust has finally settled at the University Center for the Arts (UCA) at Colorado State University, after a busy but successful week hosting the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) Region VII conference February 13 through 17. The week-long event saw more than 1,400 theatre students from nine different states flocking to the CSU’s new state-of-the-art facility. To these students, KCACTF provided an unparalleled glimpse into what is takes to succeed in theatre; providing specifically catered workshops and discussion sessions, allowing them to attend professional presentations, and critiquing their own individual works and abilities.

“Hosting is a great honor,” notes director of theatre Walt Jones. “[Being selected to host] is an investment in those who will be leaders in the future of American Theatre.”

The festival granted the perfect opportunity for CSU’s theatre program to showcase the suitability of its cutting-edge facility, along with its fully-professional theatrical resources.

“It was amazing,” said CSU freshman Lily Aspen. “I loved having ALL theatre, ALL the time.”

“I’ve been to many theatre festivals, but this one, in particular, I will remember as being especially well done” said Philip Kelley, a junior theatre major from the University of Wyoming. “It was really a good overall experience.”

In addition to the aptness of the facility, the creativity and expertise of this year’s performances at the event were inspiring to conference participants. School productions handpicked to be featured in the festival included 14 from the University of Colorado at Boulder, All in the Timing from the University of Portland, US from Western Washington University, and The Kafka Project from CSU.

US blew my mind!” said theatre major Sean Nill from Sacramento State University. “It taught me to continue to work and move forward in my art—acting takes a lot of time and effort.”

The festival represented a culmination of 18 months of preparation and required a disciplined joint effort between CSU faculty, staff, students and volunteers from the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance. It fell upon Cory Seymour; technical director at the UCA, to spearheaded the event’s coordination.

He described how other schools who have hosted in the past kept relating an almost-doomsday apprehension once CSU had been selected to host in 2012—mostly a result of horror stories from previous festival hosts. Luckily, disciples of the performing arts are accustomed to overcoming anxiety and trouble-shooting—the key being hard work mainly in the planning and preparation process. Close to 100 CSU students aided in the organization and execution of CSU’s hosting duties for the festival, and Seymour commented that it was amazing to see them step up to help run the festival. The “chaos” that can sometimes ensue and the need for intricate organization during these types of events brought students closer together, provided an unparalleled learning experience for those new to the festival and amplified the positive dynamic between students and faculty.

“Overall it was just about keeping our eyes on the prize,” said Seymour. “And in the end, we all succeeded together—as a team; both with our festival participants and with our hosting duties. We showed the total experience of what theatre truly is at CSU.”

The hard work put into the event certainly paid off; with an event that met universal praise from students, faculty, presenters and performers attending the festival. In fact, CSU’s execution and organization during the festival week was so admired that, at the request of KCACTF Region VII officials, the UCA production team will provide a “host template” for subsequent festivals.

“It truly was an extraordinary event, and I was so impressed by the professionalism of our faculty, staff and students,” said Dr. Todd Queen; Music, Theatre and Dance Department Chair. “The week really came off without a hitch, and that was due to the great organizational skills of our theater faculty and staff.”

The festival was not just a learning opportunity for theatre students or a chance for the UCA to show off its organizational aptitude; KCACTF also presents coveted awards to those who distinguish themselves as on the frontline in theatre innovation. CSU’s theatre program scored big with seven students receiving accolades. In addition, The Kafka Project, an original production written by director of theatre Walt Jones and the COMPANY, achieved the honor of becoming a regional finalist production.

“The event gave us “bragging points” to the university, Fort Collins, our region and it places CSU theatre in a national spotlight,” said Jones. “It helped us define what we do, our status and our significance.”

CSU’s KCACTF Winners:

Honored students included Parker Stegmaier, for first place in Theatrical Design Excellence for the Sound Design in The Kafka Project, and Kaylen Higgins, for first place in Theatrical Design Excellence in Stage Management on A Few Good Men, both of whom will be moving on to compete at the national KCACTF conference in Washington D.C. in April.

"The moment they announced my name as the winner, I was completely exhilarated, so much so that I tackled Price Johnston, my adviser," said Parker Stegmaier. We are a powerful theatre program, and the industry is starting to learn that. I will do everything within my power to represent CSU well in D.C.," he said.

Additionally, Nicole Newcomb, who received first place in Theatrical Design Excellence in Projection Design for Kafka, was commended with a full scholarship to attend the Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas; Brittany Lealman was awarded the Props Allied Design and Technologies S.P.A.M. Award for her work on Kafka, which included a scholarship to the United States Institute of Theatre Technology (USITT); Lealman and Taylor Webster were granted the USITT Award, the highest honor given by the institute; Alex Ostwald earned the Lighting Design Meritorious Achievement Award for his work on Kafka; Rebekah Mustain was offered a position as Assistant Stage Manager and Charge Artist for the production of My Fair Lady at the Mt. Baker Theatre in Washington as a result of an interview during KCACTF; Cecilia McNeel and Aleisha Mork both were offered a summer tech position at Creede Repertory Theatre in Creede, Colorado based on their performances at KCACTF; and The Kafka Project was named a regional finalist production and will now compete

2012 Region VII Awards

2012 Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) Region VII conference at the University Center for the Arts; Visitors

Theatre Students win Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival honors

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

For the fifth consecutive year, students from Colorado State University’s theatre program took home major awards at the regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, held at the University Center for the Arts, Feb. 13 – 17, 2012.

The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival is a national theater program, with over 18,000 participants annually, and according to the organization’s website, “[KCACTF] has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college theatre in the United States.”

Region VII is comprised of nine western states including Alaska, northern Calif., Colo., Idaho, Mont., northern Nev., Ore., Wash. and Wyo. Students from schools in these states convened in Fort Collins to participate in workshops; attend symposia and colloquies and professional presentation; and work with resident artists.

Projection Design Presentation at 2012 Kennedy Center American College Theatre FestivalFor the fourth year in a row, CSU students will travel to Washington, D.C., April 16 – 21, 2012, to compete at the prestigious Kennedy Center national conference.

Regional Awards

The Kafka Project, created by Walt Jones and the Company, was named a regional finalist production and will now compete for a national production award.

Parker Stegmaier (CSU ‘14) won the Theatrical Design Excellence in the Sound Design category for his work on the CSU production of The Kafka Project. He will attend the national conference in April. Parker received a sound design Meritorious Certificate at the 2010 KCACTF regional competition.

Kaylen Higgins (CSU ‘12) won the Theatrical Design Excellence in the Stage Management category for her work on the CSU production of A Few Good Men by Aaron Sorkin. She will also attend the national conference in April.

Nicole Newcomb (CSU ’12) won the Theatrical Design Excellence in the Projection Design category for her work on the CSU production of The Kafka Project, receiving an Allied Arts scholarship to attend the Stagecraft Institute (SCI) of Las Vegas which specializes in hands-on training for cutting-edge, live entertainment technology. She will travel to SCI for a week in March.

Brittany Lealman (CSU ’13) won the Props Allied Design and Technologies S.P.A.M. Award for her work on the CSU production of The Kafka Project, receiving a scholarship to the “2012 United States Institute of Theatre Technology” conference held March 28 – 31, 2012 in Long Beach, Cali.

Taylor Webster (CSU ’12) received a United State Institute of Theatre Technology award.

Alex Ostwald (CSU ’12) received a Lighting Design Meritorious Achievement Award for his work on the CSU production of The Kafka Project.

Based on her NextStep Initiative interview, Rebekah Mustain (CSU ’12) was offered a position as Assistant Stage Manager and Charge Artist for the production of My Fair Lady at the Mt. Baker Theatre in Bellingham, Wash., an eight-week paid professional assignment beginning in August, 2012.

Cecilia McNeel (CSU ’12) was offered a summer tech position at Creede Repertory Theatre in Creede, Colo.

Aleisha Mork (CSU ’12) was offered a summer tech position at Creede Repertory Theatre in Creede, Colo.

2011 National Award

2011 Kennedy Center of American Colleges Theatre Festival National Lightning Award Winner

Theatre: CSU Theatre Graduate Wins National Lighting Award

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Colorado State University theatre alum Meghan Gray (CSU ’10) won the Barbizon Award for Theatrical Design Excellence in Lighting at the annual Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in Washington, DC on April 23, 2011. Gray is currently a master electrician for the CSU Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance.

The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) is a national theater program with over 18,000 participants annually, and serves as a catalyst to improve the quality of college theater in the United States.

According to the KCACTF website, “The purpose of the Barbizon Awards for Theatrical Design Excellence is to provide student designers with feedback from professionals working in the field; to give outstanding student designers national recognition; and to provide the opportunity for student designers to exhibit their work at the Kennedy Center. Designs will be appraised on the basis of quality, effectiveness, originality, and rendering techniques.”

The national level award includes full tuition and expenses paid to attend the Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas, specializing in hands-on training for cutting-edge, live entertainment technology, as well as a paid trip to the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space, the world’s largest performance design event, held June 16-26, 2011 in the Czech Republic.

The competition in DC was a week-long submersion in theatrical design. “We brainstormed, implemented, and talked design and theater from 8 a.m. to midnight daily,” said Gray. For the final round of competition, interpretations of the same scene from Naomi Iizuka's Language of Angels were designed and presented by all eight finalists. “Winning was a completely unexpected surprise,” said Gray, “There were many talented people there.”

Gray became eligible for the national contest by winning Best Lighting Design for her design for the CSU production of Polaroid Stories by Naomi Iizuka at the regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, held in Arcata, Cali. Feb. 14 – 18, 2011.

“Polaroid Stories was one of my favorite projects as a student because it gave me more creative freedom than any other design I'd taken on,” said Gray. “My goal was to make the lighting an experience – not an unnoticeable element – for the audience and performers as well.” Gray also received a sound design award at the 2009 KCACTF regional competition.

Senior Luke Peckinpaugh (CSU ’11) also competed at the national festival. Peckinpaugh won the coveted Irene Ryan Acting Award out of 408 actors, at the 2011 Regional KCACTF. His competition partner was Jeff Garland (CSU '12).

“Our students represent the future of American theatre and we are always very proud to share their talents with the nation at the Kennedy Center,” said Walt Jones, director of theatre at CSU. “We have sent regional winners to the national competition for the last four years, which is as rewarding for us as it is for them. When a student wins, it makes it all the sweeter."

Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival 2012
Colorado State University will host the 2012 regional KCACTF on Feb. 13 – 18. Over 1,200 participants are expected to attend the weeklong event being held at the University Center for the Arts and the Hilton Hotel.

2011 Region VII Awards

Group Photo 2011 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Award Winners

Theatre Students win Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival awards

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

For the fourth consecutive year, students from Colorado State University’s theater program took home major awards at the regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, held in Arcata, Calif. Feb. 14-18, 2011.

The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival is a national theater program, with over 18,000 participants annually, and according to the organization’s website, “[KCACTF] has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college theater in the United States.”

Faculty and students representing the department traveled to Humboldt State University last week for the annual conference, winning six awards in five categories – the most of any university in the seven stage region.

For the third year in a row, CSU students will return to Washington, D.C. in April to compete at the prestigious Kennedy Center national conference; three students were invited to the competition, besting CSU’s record set in the 2009.

Award Recipients

Luke Peckinpaugh (CSU ’11) won the coveted Irene Ryan Acting Award out of 408 actors, and an invitation to attend the Kennedy Center national conference competition. Luke won regional nominations from CSU productions of All My Sons by Arthur Miller (Joe Keller), and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Dale Wasserman, adapted from the novel by Ken Kesey (Randal Patrick Murphy). Luke did scenes from Lone Star by Jim McLure, and A Prayer for My Daughter by Thomas Babe, as well as a startling monologue from Utopian Highway by Chuck Mee. Luke is a great nephew of film director Sam Peckinpah.

Luke’s competition partner was Jeff Garland (CSU '12), who will also attend the national conference.

Meghan Gray (CSU ‘10) won Best Lighting Design for her design for the CSU production of Polaroid Stories by Naomi Iizuka. She will attend the national conference in April. Meghan received a sound design award at the 2009 KCACTF.

Scott Sharp (CSU '11) won the Mark Twain Award for Comedy with a scene from Fubar by Karl Gadjusek, a scene from The Scene by Theresa Reebeck, and a monologue "Sigmund Fraud" which he wrote. Scott's partner was Willa Bograd (CSU '14).

Parker Stegmaier (CSU '13) won a Meritorious Certificate for his sound design for the CSU production of Dog Sees God, by Bert V. Royal.

Seth Walter (CSU '10) won a Meritorious Certificate for his stage management of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

Meghan Connor (CSU '13) won a callback to a prestigious Bay Area Shakespeare Festival.

“Not a bad week for CSU Theatre,” exclaimed Walt Jones, co-director of the CSU Division of Theatre and Dance.

Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival 2012

Colorado State University will host the 2012 regional KCACTF on Feb. 13-18. Over 1,200 participants are expected to attend the weeklong event being held at the University Center for the Arts and the Hilton Hotel.

Image 1: Seth Walter, Scott Sharp, Willa Bograd, Jeff Garland, Parker Stegmaier, Meghan Gray, Luke Peckinpaugh

2010 Region VII Awards

2010 KCACTF Regional Winners Group

Theatre: Department Wins Awards at Annual Festival

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

02.24.10 – For the third consecutive year, students from Colorado State University’s theater program took home major awards at the regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF), held in Reno, Nevada.

Faculty and students representing the department traveled to the University of Nevada on Feb. 15–19 for the annual conference, and won awards in several categories (pictured left to right):

Meghan Gray (CSU ‘10) for Sound Design
Deidre Raph (CSU ‘13) for Dramatic Literature and Research in Dramaturgy
Christina Fontana (CSU ‘10) for Stage Management
Sean Cummings (CSU ‘12) for Playwriting
For the second year in a row, CSU students will return to Washington, D.C. in April to compete at the prestigious Kennedy Center national conference.

Additionally, Colorado State University has accepted the invitation to host the 2012 regional KCACTF; over 1,200 participants are expected to attend.

According to the KCACTF website, “Started in 1969 by Roger L. Stevens, the Kennedy Center’s founding chairman, the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide which has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college theater in the United States.”

2009: Colorado State University Theatre Program Students Win National Awards

CSU Theatre Program Students National Award Winner Group Photo04.27.09 – Erin Fried (‘09) and Sean Cummings (‘11) won two of only seven national acting awards at the annual Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) in Washington, DC on April 18, 2009.

Fried, who won “Best Actor” in the Irene Ryan Acting Competition at the KCACTF regional competition in February, was awarded a $5,000 scholarship and a year-long apprenticeship to the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville (Ky.).

Cummings, who participated as Fried’s dialogue partner, won a summer apprenticeship with The Orchard Project at the Catskill Mountain Foundation.

According to the website, “Started in 1969 by Roger L. Stevens, the Kennedy Center’s founding chairman, the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide which has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college theater in the United States.”