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More than acting at KCACTF

December 2012

Since 1991 St. Ambrose has been participating in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF). This year will be no different with many SAU actors and techies going to compete in their events in Lincoln, Neb., January 20-26.

There's more than just acting at the festival.

This year's backstage Technical Team has three standing members: Dan Conlin, Sidney Junk, and Kristen Jett. They are currently preparing others for auditioning for the last spot on the team. The Technical Team has done quite well as past festivals, placing first two years in a row.

Additional Events 

Stage Management

Meghan McLaughlin will be participating in the stage management event at the festival. She will be assigned a festival event to manage, create a display on , and also be interviewed. How well she does will be based on both items.

National Critics Institute

Along with the acting event, Kelsey Francis will also be a part of the National Critics Institute. Students involved in this intensive workshop write daily critiques of plays and then discuss their reviews in a roundtable sessions with mentors and peers. Students who advance all the way to the national festival–eight in total–have the chance of being selected to attend the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Critics Institute to student with leading writers and critics from across the U.S.


There are two students, Molly Conrad and Stacy Phipps, who are considering participating in the directing event. If they decide to go, they submit a production they directed and supporting materials.

Additional Attendees

All four members of the Call Board, Val Zawada, Sidney Junk, Brooke Schelly, and Zach Meyer, will also be going to KCACTF this year. Faculty members going on the trip will be Dan Rairdin-Hale, Kris Eitrheim, Cory Johnson, and Aaron Hook. 

Stephanie Seward '13 said she is "excited to see how well our school fares compared to many of the bigger schools." She also hopes to push herself to go to workshops outside of her comfort zone.

The initial Irene Ryan Acting audition showings are on Thursday, December 13 at 4 p.m. and Thursday, January 17 at 6 p.m. These will be held on the mainstage and everyone is welcome to attend, they are free of charge. Cory Johnson said that she is "looking forward to my last year as the Irene Ryan coordinator, but am also looking forward to following year when I will have more time to spend with my SAU students."

SAU will also be having a few students doing auditions for more professional positions in acting and tech at Summer stock theatre. We wish all the students well with their trip and competitions!

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