Theatre Students in the Spotlight at Regional Festival

Theatre Students in the Spotlight at Regional Festival

Left to right: Tyler Newkirk, Ariana Harris, Vittoria Cristante, Chris Varanko

Southern’s student thespians had another successful year at the Kennedy Center Region 1 American College Theatre Festival, bringing home awards and other recognitions for their work in university theater productions. The festival took place in Hyannis, Mass., on January 27 – February 2.

Started in 1969, the Kennedy Center American College Theater (KCACTF) is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide that has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college theater in the United States. The KCACTF has grown into a network of more than 600 academic institutions throughout the country, where theater departments and student artists showcase their work and receive outside assessment by KCACTF respondents. The annual Region 1 festival, in which Southern competes, brings together over 600 students from colleges and universities in the northeast region.

“It is a great honor for our students (and the faculty who mentor them) to receive recognition for their hard work,” says Michael Skinner, Theatre Department chairman. “At the festival, students competed in varying events and attended workshops and auditions. They networked with industry professionals and graduate programs.”

The following Merit Awards were granted for student work done throughout the academic year and season:

  • The Ensemble Cast for Devised Work – The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus
  • JT McLoughlin for Sound Design – Jack of All Trades, Master of One Acts
  • Ivan Orson Kelly for Directing – One Acts
  • Vittoria Cristante – Asst. Choreography – Pippin
  • Christopher Varanko – Sound Mixing – Pippin
  • The Cast for Ensemble Work – The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)

At the festival, these students took home the following awards for the various competitions they participated and presented in:

  • Tyler Newkirk – Regional DTM Legacy Award (DTM= Design Tech & Management)
  • Ariana Harris – SPAM Award for Excellence in Props (SPAM = Society of Properties Artisans & Managers)
  • Vittoria Cristante – The Regional 1 Arts Administration & Management Award for Distinction in Festival Support

In addition, Southern’s performance students did well competing against over 200 other students from different institutions:

  • Matthew Lopes and his scene partner Leah Herde advanced through the preliminary and semi-final rounds to perform as 1 of 16 finalists.
  • Julia Raucci and her scene partner Jack Storm advanced through the preliminary and semi-final rounds to perform as 1 of 16 finalists.

Other students who participated in the festival included:

  • T.L. Johnson presented a scene in the Stage Directing Competition with the following students acting in his scene:
    • Patricia Castle
    • Liam Welsh
    • Keegan Smith
    • Ariana Harris
  • Patrick Ballard participated in the Stage Management competition by presenting his work on Southern’s production of Pippin.
  • Christian Gunzenhauser participated and performed in the Musical Theatre Initiative.

Congratulations to all who took part in the festival!