Beginning Tuesday, February 28 and ending on Saturday, March 3, ASU hosted the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival for the fourth and final time. Professor Michael Burnett from the Department of Visual and Performing Arts hosted this event. Region 6 includes the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. Through this theater festival students from universities and community colleges are able to present their own work, get feedback, see other students’ works, and network which can lead to an internship or an apprenticeship. Networking within the festival can even lead to jobs after college. The festival also allows students the opportunity to learn from professionals when they otherwise may not be able to.
The festival includes academic aspects along with creative performances and design competitions.
“This festival is so important.” William Doll, Director of University Theater, said. “It accomplishes all that we are meant to be as a learning environment.”
Students studying Acting, Design, Lighting, Costume Design, Theater, and Stage Management can participate in competitions and 80 workshops from professionals around the world. Because this event was hosted at ASU this year, local students also took part in hosting each event and workshop. The events within the festival were held at various locations on campus including the Auditorium, Modular Theater and the Eldon Black Recital Hall.
The Festival included seven full length plays from different attending schools: “Lydia” by University of Texas at El Paso, “The Royale” by the University of New Orleans, “I(sland) (T)rap” by the University of Arkansas, “Luna Gale” from West Texas A&M University, “Shakespeare’s Other Women” from the University of Oklahoma, “Gruesome Playground Injuries” by Sam Houston State University and “Hand of God” by Lone Star College.
ASU students Mitchel Doud of Brownwood, Logan Burgess of San Angelo and Eric Valle of Big Spring were nominated for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship for their roles in the ASU production of “Not About Nightingales.” Corbin Stevens of Big Spring, Audrey McKillup of Brownwood and Bryce Real of Kerrville were also nominated for this scholarship as well due to their performances in the ASU production of “My Fair Lady.” McKillup, Real and Valle, along with Taylor Sparkman of Kerrville, Hayden Duckworth of Wills Point and Jennie Wagner of Brownwood, will participate in the Musical Theatre Initiative.
While ASU will not be hosting this event again, Doll says that it will be moved to a new location and that they are planning on traveling to attend. ASU also hosts state festivals and travels for state festivals at other schools from time to time. This event was sponsored by Angelo State University Theater, Galveston College and Texas Tech University.