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BWW Blog: Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

BWW Blog: Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

Hi everyone! I'm a little late this week on my post because on Tuesday I rode down to Americus, Georgia for KCACTF (Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival). I initially intended to go to the conference for the sole purpose of going to workshops and shows, meeting other college theater students, and getting some quality time with friends, but on Monday night, my plans changed. After a friend date at Chili's with Bre, my friends going to the conference and I went to go see WCU's production of J.B., which was wonderful, by the way.

While I was walking back to my dorm to pack for the van ride the following morning, I got a call from my friend Caleb (one of the upperclassmen who choreographed the feminism tap number I was in fall semester), informing me that his scene partner for the Irene Ryan competition had the flu and might not be able to go, and asked me if I could learn the material and understudy her. I had seen their package once before, and it included a monologue, duet from Dear Evan Hansen, and a short comedy scene, and agreed to do it. This meant that I would have to leave on the earlier bus, meet with him and Kristen Hedburg, the upperclassman voice professor in the morning to go over the cuts in the song, and get off book in less than 24 hours. Honestly, although it certainly wasn't easy, I work better when given less time to prepare, because it doesn't allow me time to overanalyze.

The next morning, I met with Kristen and Caleb and we went over the music. Don't judge me, I know I'm uncultured, but I'd never listened to the complete DEH soundtrack, so the song was completely new to me. Music theory came in clutch and it turned out sounding solid in my opinion, and we immediately got on the bus to head to Americus. We arrived at the hotel and headed downtown to get checked in and to go to an orientation meeting at 9:00PM. The Irene Ryans is a national competition for college students, respondents go to participating schools' productions and can nominate actors to go to the regional competition (at KCACTF for WCU), where they prepare a package for a panel of selectors. Caleb was nominated for his performance in Hair the previous spring, which I didn't get to see since I wasn't yet a student, but have heard great things about. He is such a talented and kind human and I'm so happy that we got the chance to work together before he graduates next year. There were three other nominees from WCU, and my friends Rachel and Tyler were also scene partners, so it was nice to get to spend some time with them.

Once we returned from the orientation meeting, Caleb and I met with our professors Ashlee Wasmund and Dustin Whitehead to get some feedback on our initial audition package, especially since we had hardly had the chance to rehearse blocking yet. I'm not going to play it down, I'm super proud of myself and Caleb for what we pulled of with minimal time to rehearse, it turned out great regardless of the circumstances and I'm so happy to have had the opportunity to work under pressure.

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From This Author Student Blogger: Micah Patt

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