Converse to Host Regional Theater Festival Competition

Beginning February 5th, the Converse campus population will swell noticeably as approximately 800 theater students from a ten state region arrive to take part in the Kennedy Center/American College Theater Festival (KC/ACTF). KC/ACTF selected the Department of Theater and Dance at Converse to serve as hosts for the 5-day regional event.

A peek at the festival docket reveals a smorgasbord of theater activities as participants attempt to advance to the national festival. In addition to performances, there will be a wide range of workshops and seminars on such topics as auditioning for film and television, physical training for the performer, the humanity of costume design, preparing designs, and improvisation. Competition for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship, theatrical readings, and plays in the trendy 10-minute format will also be presented.

Landing the festival is considered to be quite a feather in the hat for those in the Converse Theater and Dance Department. “The regional competitions are normally held in a larger university setting,” said John M. Bald, Associate Professor and Chair of Theater and Dance. “But the fact that Converse was selected is recognition of the strong commitment to KC/ACTF put forth by this department over the last seven years.”

Converse students Tiffany Thornton ’02, Anna Browning ’04, and Nina Asbury ’05 will be competing against other students for a shot at the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship. “The student selected at the regional level will receive a $500 scholarship,” said Bald. “The winner at the national level is awarded the full $2,500 scholarship.” The national festival is scheduled for April 15-23 in Washington, D.C.

Theater departments from six schools will also be vying for a chance to take their performances to the nationals. These shows, to be presented in Twichell Auditorium throughout the festival, include:

Northern Kentucky University
Thy Bother’s Keeper

Appalachian State University
A Lesson Before Dying

Birmingham Southern College
Hamlet: The Musical

Lambuth University
Never the Sinner

The University of Memphis
Keeping Up with the Joneses

The Savannah College of Art and Design
Reefer Madness.

A registration fee of $30 will give you admittance to the entire festival-including all workshops and performances. Registration will be held beginning at noon, February 6th throughout the festival in Wilson Hall. Tickets for the performances in Twichell Auditorium are $5 at the Twichell Box Office.

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