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Prepping for Festival

December 2011


St. Ambrose has long been known for its outstanding actors who compete in the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Competition at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF), but what about the non-actors who attend? This year, the St. Ambrose Theatre Department is happy to announce the varied and exciting list of students participating.

One of the most popular events is the Tech Team Showdown–another place Ambrose students excel (last year our team made it to the final four after a two year victory streak). This year's crew is still being decided, but Dan Conlin '12, the leader of this year's team, is already making room for the trophy.

Tyler Reinert '12 will participate in the Design Expo for the second year, bringing his scenic designs from "Dakota Jones and The Search for Atlantis," and possibly for "A New Brain" as well. Reinert says "I got a lot of helpful feedback for my props design last year when I participated, and I'm hoping to get a bunch more for my scenic design work." Reinert hopes to pursue graduate school for scenic design, and he is trying "to take every opportunity I can to grow and learn to better prepare myself."

Kristen Jett '13, will participate in the Costume Design Runway for the second year, and there are a few students applying in the directing area as well. Valerie Zawada '13 and Grace Allen '12 are submitting themselves for the SDC Directing Fellowship Auditions, and Morgan Griffin is applying to be an assistant director for the Faculty Directing Showcase. For this, the director is selected by a review board and would then bring a fully prepared scene to the festival. The scene goes through several rounds of competition (similar to the Irene Ryan auditions), and the winner of the regional festival will continue to the national festival in April for more detailed workshops and discussions on directing. SAU student Rachel Mayer Hernandez won this honor and went to the Kennedy Center in 2009.

Aaron Randolph III '12, playwright of two of SAU's shows this season ("Dakota Jones and The Search for Atlantis" and "The Plagiarists"), hopes to attend several playwriting workshops and possibly get some ideas for future work.

All in all it looks to be a busy time for SAU theatre students at this year's KCACTF that will be held in Ames, Iowa, January 15-21.

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