AU Press Releases

Students excel in theater competitions

Three Alfred University (AU) students advanced in three separate theater competitions while attending the Kennedy Center American College Region II Theater Festival (KCACTF) at West Chester University, West Chester, PA earlier this year.

Allison Burrell, a senior art and design major from Corning, won the region’s award for Excellence in Costume Design. She moves on to national competition in Washington, D.C. in late April. Burrell competed against every student costume designer involved in KCACTF productions from Region II. There, with the winners from the other seven KCACTF regions in the country, she will have a week of intensive workshops with two of America’s foremost costume designers. She entered her costumes from AU’s Theater Department’s production of “Almost, Maine” performed in spring 2013.

Jessica Antrobus, a senior English and communication studies major from Cleveland, Ohio, was one of 35 students accepted for a Musical Theatre Workshop. She moved on to the second round of 16 students.

Daniel Gray, a sophomore art and design major from Madison, WI was nominated for the Irene Ryan Acting scholarship for his work in AU’s Theater Department’s production of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” in which he played Benedick. He and his scene partner Rachel Romack, a junior psychology and theater major from Candor, advanced to the group of 32 semi-finalists out of 250 nominees.

The KCACTF includes eight national regions representing colleges from Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and parts of Virginia and West Virginia. The cast and crew – some 33 students, staff, and faculty - of the AU Performing Arts Division’s production of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” was invited to perform at the KCACTF Region II award program, Jan. 14-18, 2014. “Much Ado” was directed by Dr. Becky Prophet, professor of theater.

Begun in 1969 by Roger L. Stevens, the Kennedy Center’s founding chairman, 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. 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.

In January and February of each year, regional festivals showcase the finest of each region's entered productions and offer a variety of activities, including workshops, symposia, and regional-level award programs.

Since its inception, KCACTF has given more than 400,000 college theater students the opportunity to have their work critiqued, improve their dramatic skills, and receive national recognition for excellence. More than 16 million theatergoers have attended approximately 10,000 festival productions nationwide.

Through state, regional, and national festivals, KCACTF participants celebrate the creative process, see one another's work, and share experiences and insights within the community of theater artists. The KCACTF honors excellence of overall production and offers student artist’s individual recognition through awards and scholarships in playwriting, acting, criticism, directing, and design.