Whitman Theater Students and Faculty Receive Record-Breaking Amount of Honors and Awards at Annual KCACTF Festival

This past semester at Harper Joy Theatre, the Kennedy Center American College Theater (KCACTF) awarded and nominated multiple student and faculty theater-makers for their work. At the annual regional convention last week, the following Whitman-affiliated theater-makers had the privilege of being awarded KCACTF several honors.

This past Fall semester we were lucky to have several of our students (and faculty) recognized for their work by the KCACTF respondents who came and gave feedback to the productions:

 Playing With Fire (After Frankenstein)

Certificates of Merit:
Stage Management: Hannah Marker
Direction:  Annaliese Baker

Irene Ryan Scholarship Nominees:
Rachael Goldsmith-Zucker
Beej Haas

Ripe Frenzy

Certificates of Merit:
Scenic/Projection Design: Jean Yvonne Tyson
Dramaturg: Miranda LaFond
Stage Manager: Alyx Kruger
Direction: Emily K. Harrison

Irene Ryan Scholarship Nominees:
Lucy Evans-Rippy
Eva Sullivan

Rachel Goldsmith-Zucker’s one act play The God Auditions was selected to be produced at the festival!  There are tons of entries and this is a great honor.

Our regional KCACTF festival will be held in Fort Collins, CO February 17 – 21.  Here is the list of students who will be traveling to participate in the festival this year.  Please wish them good luck!

. . .

Last week (8) Whitman students traveled to Fort Collins, CO to participate in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, Region 7.  Our students engaged with the opportunities at festival in a wide range of areas including acting, design and technology, stage management, playwriting, theatre journalism and dramaturgy.  They were able to participate in workshops by professionals, submit and display their work for feedback, see other students’ work and productions brought to festival from the eight states in our region and apply for summer internship programs.  At the end of the festival, we hold a ceremony to recognize the work of the students in our region.  The Whitman students who participated gained immeasurable experience and insight from their time at the KCACTF festival.  They also received the following awards in recognition of their work:

National Award Winners:

Jay Tyson (Whitman 2020) accepting her award

Jay Tyson – National Award For Excellence in Scenic Design for Ripe Frenzy.  Jay will be presenting her work at the National KCACTF Festival in Washington DC in April.  At the National Festival, students will spend a week taking master classes from professional designers, presenting their design projects, and networking with student and professional designers from across the country. Students will be eligible for various professional learning opportunities, fellowships, and awards based on their projects and work during the festival.

Haley King (Whitman 2020) accepting her award

Haley King – National Award For Excellence in Allied Arts for Makeup Design for Playing With Fire (After Frankenstein).   The Santa Fe Opera has partnered with KCACTF to honor the eight regional student recipients of The KCACTF Allied Design & Technology Award with a week long residency. The Santa Fe Opera, set in the high desert, is renowned worldwide for its contributions to a living art form, and for the passion it inspires in artists and audiences alike.  The award recipients will get to experience this world class theatre company like no other, attend backstage tours, see the productions up close, work side by side professionals in the field and get hands-on experience in their area of interest, plus will have a chance to share their own work and portfolios with the staff at The Santa Fe Opera all during this fun packed week of adventure. 

Miranda LaFonde (Whitman 2020) accepting her award.

Miranda LaFond – Awarded the George R Caldwell Undergraduate Scholarly Paper Award for ‘To be or not to be, dat is him question,’— Portrayals of Race in Early American Theatre & the National Award For Undergraduate Dramaturgy for her work on Ripe Frenzy.  Her work will be submitted to the National Selection Panel, convened by the Kennedy Center, that will choose four students from from the eight who have submitted (one from each region) to come to the National Festival at the Kennedy Center. The Kennedy Center will cover travel, lodging, and per diem for these four students, who will study with critics such as Bob Mondello from NPR, Diep Tran from American Theatre, and Sarah Kaufman from the Washington Post.  One writer will be chosen from the National Festival to go to the National Critics Institute at the O’Neill Theatre Center during its national playwriting conference in July, where they will work with leading professional newspaper and magazine critics from across the United States.

Rachael Goldsmith Zucker (Whitman 2022) accepting her award

Rachael Goldsmith-Zucker’s play The God Audition, was selected as one of two National Semi-Finalists in the 10 minute play contest.  Her play will be sent to the Kennedy Center along with the best two plays from all the other regions (16 plays total). If it is selected by the national play reading committee, she will have the opportunity to travel to Washington DC in April to have her work read during the week of the KCACTF National Conference.

Regional Recognition
Evan Marks
– Regional Award for Sound Design for Ripe Frenzy
Recipient of a 1-Week Internship at Stagecraft Institute of Los Vegas

Haley King
– Meritorious Achievement in Costume Design for Red

Jay Tyson
– Meritorious Achievement in Unrealized Costume Design for James and the Giant Peach
–Meritorious Achievement for a scholarly paper for I’m Uncomfortable – In-Yer-Face-Reality.
–Recipient of the Todd Francis Fellowship for design from the 7 Devils Playwrights Conference
–Recipient of a 1-Week Internship at Stagecraft Institute of Los Vegas

Faculty Awards
Dan Schindler
–awarded the Kennedy Center Medallion for my years of work with the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

The award description reads:
Each year, the eight Kennedy Center American College Theater (KCACTF) regions honor individuals or organizations that have made extraordinary contributions to the teaching and producing of theatre and who have significantly dedicated their time, artistry and enthusiasm to the development of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Most importantly, recipients have demonstrated a strong commitment to the values and goals of KCACTF and to excellence in educational theatre. It is the most prestigious regional award given by KCACTF and is considered one of the great honors in theatre education.

Needless to say, we had an extraordinary week at festival and all of our students had an incredibly positive experience.  I would like to extend my gratitude to ASWC and the Theatre and Dance Department who helped to finance this trip, the professors who allowed them to make up any work from this past week, and to those of you on the faculty who helped our students prepare for this experience.  Please take a moment next week when you see them to congratulate them and ask them about their time at festival.

For more information about the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and our region specifically:
KCACTF Region 7    
KCACTF National