Several theater students participated in the annual Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival held Feb. 6-11, at the end of the week, a few lucky students came home with prestigious awards.
UVU prides itself on letting its students experience a hands-on education. This is especially true in the Theater Department, that not only has students perform but also has students in charge of the design for the various productions. Every year, students have the opportunity to present their acting and design skills in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. This year the competition for UVU’s region was held at Weber State College on Feb. 6-11. While many students participated, a select few were awarded for their talents.
During the week of KCACTF, students from various universities presented their work on design elements from plays participating in the festival as well as performed scenes from those plays. For the designers, such as costume, lighting and sound, they are given a four by four foot area to present their design work. After which, they give a five-minute presentation to the festival respondents. The judges then use the notes from the respondents to narrow all the competitors down to just the finalists. The winners are announced at the end of the week at the awards ceremony.
Jason Jensen, a senior Theater Design major with an emphasis in sound, was invited by KCACTF representatives to present his sound design from “Othello.” Jensen’s display included photos from the production as well as an iPad, providing an interactive queue of sounds, so that visitors could listen to the entire play. “Designers have the freedom to do whatever they want to show their design and involvement in the play,” Jensen said.
Seven students, including Jensen, won various awards either in design or acting. Jensen won the Regional Winner for Sound Design, the same award he won last year for his work on “She Stoops to Conquer.” Other UVU winners included Casey Price who was the Regional Design Winner for Scenic Design and Jacob Porter, who won Regional Winner of the Stage Management Fellowship Award.
When they are not competing, participants filled their time by attending workshops. “The week is crammed with all kinds of activities and workshops that have anything and everything to do with theater,” Jensen said. Workshops covered various subjects including dance, sound, lighting and even building 3D models using a printer. Participants can also watch plays brought from the participating universities.
Between the competitions, the workshops and the plays, students had plenty of opportunities to learn and to grow as artists. “It’s a pretty busy week. You always have something to do,” Jensen said.
Irene Ryan Regional Finalists
Regional Design Finalist
Allen Stout – Elephant’s Graveyard, Costume
Jennessa Law – Elephant’s Graveyard, Costume
Jaron Hermansen – Eurydice, Lighting Design
Daniel Whiting – Eurydice, Technical Direction
Regional Directing Finalist
Scene from The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek
National Playwriting Program
—10 Minute Play, Regional Finalists—
Coral Chambers – I Love You More
Wendy Gourley – Mochi
Chicago Style Comedy Scholarship
Program Note Award
Wendy Gourley – “Sarah Ruhl, A Distance From Normal”
Scholarly Paper Award —Winner forwarded to national level
Wendy Gourley – “The Federal Theatre Project: A Bastion of Democracy or Communist Propaganda?”
LMDA Fellowship—Winner sent to Kennedy Center in Washington DC
Wendy Gourley – Eurydice
Winner for Scenic Design
Casey Price – Eurydice
Winner for Sound Design
Jason Jensen – Othello
Scholarship Invitation to the Stagecraft Int. of Las Vegas
The State Management Fellowship Award
Jacob Porter – Othello
The Golden Wrench Award
For the load in and load out of Eurydice
By Kelly Cannon