Two theatre productions chosen to compete in Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival
Published: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 31, 2013 01:01
A group of theatre students and two productions from Sam Houston State University will have a chance to gain national recognition when they compete in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival held in February.
The SHSU productions of “Spring Awakening” and “Enron” are two of the six productions invited to compete at this year’s festival along with 18 theater students nominated for individual awards.
Texas theater programs are judged along with programs from other states in Region 6 including Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico and Oklahoma.
“It is very rare for [KCACTF] to invite two productions from the same school, especially because our region is so big,” Katie Stefaniak, Theatre Manager, said. “The last time we had two shows go in was in 2002, so we’re very excited.”
Stefaniak said the festival will be an opportunity to showcase two productions that were a collaboration of several departments at SHSU.
“I think we have a great chance of doing well this year,” Stefaniak said. “We have so much talent and these shows were a huge collaboration for different departments. It was a great learning process for all of us and I think we will do well.”
For “Enron” the theatre department worked with the department of mass communication to incorporate special effects by using multiple projection screens to incorporate video, text and graphics into the performance.
“Spring Awakening” involved working with the School of Music to have a live band perform on stage as well as bringing two alumni to help with directing and acting.
In addition to production awards, several students will compete for individual scholarship awards and educational opportunities with The Performing Arts Project.
For Seth Cunningham, who is nominated for the Irene Ryan Scholarship and the Musical Theater Initiative for his role as Hanschen in “Spring Awakening”, the excitement of winning also comes with much preparation.
“I’ve spent a lot of time in the library and online doing research and reading play after play,” he said. “And now that I have my pieces and my partner chosen we need to rehearse.”
Cunningham was nervous, but remains confident in the performances and is eager for the chance to win.
“I think our shows are going to be great!” he said. “Everyone in the department is all a-buzz with business and excitement, which is a great thing to see. Everyone is putting so much into their work and it’s always good.”
The KCACTF will be held Feb. 26 to March 3.