2014 Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Announces National Awardees; Festival Set for 4/14-19
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts today announced national awardees of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Individuals from across the United States are recognized for outstanding work from the eight regional festivals that were held January 7 through March 1, 2014. Selected awardees and representatives will be brought to Washington, D.C. for an expense-paid trip to participate in the 46th annual Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF), April 14-19, 2014.
Developed in 1969 by Roger L. Stevens, the Kennedy Center's founding Chairman, the KCACTF encourages and celebrates the finest and most diverse theatrical productions from colleges and universities nationwide. The eight regional festivals and national festival provide an opportunity for college and university theater departments to present their work, especially new or student-written work, and to receive outside assessment. Since its establishment 46 years ago, KCACTF has reached millions of theatergoers and made important contributions to the professional development of countless college and university theater students nationwide.
A full listing of the national awards announced to date appears below. These awards, along with additional awards selected during the national festival, will be presented at the closing ceremony on Saturday, April 19, at 12 p.m. in the Kennedy Center Theater Lab.
This year, productions from universities invited to the eight regional festivals, in addition to showcasing their collaborative accomplishments audiences of more than 1,000 theater artists, were eligible for recognition for national awards celebrating outstanding achievement. A selection panel consisting of members of the KCACTF National Committee, Executive Committee, and the KCACTF Artistic Director met over the eight weeks of the regional festival calendar to discuss the work. At the conclusion of the final festival at Centenary College of Louisiana, the selection panel made the award decisions described below.
What follows is a list of the productions and individuals recognized for outstanding achievement under the categories of production, direction, choreography, design, acting, and playwriting. Additionally, the "nominees" for each category-those productions and individual artists under consideration for these national awards-have been recognized for distinguished achievement.
The productions below have been recognized for their outstanding achievement. Additionally, the "nominees" for each category have been recognized for distinguished achievement.
Distinguished Productions of a Musical: Avenue Q, music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, book by Jeff Whitty, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay; and The Pirates of Penzance, book and lyrics by W. S. Gilbert, music by Arthur Sullivan, Westmont College
Outstanding Production of a New Work- Decision Height by Meredith Levy, Hollins University Distinguished Productions of a New Work: Kafka In Tel Aviv by Peter Sampieri, Salem State University; The Plain Princess, book and lyrics by Jim Christian, music by Tom Edward Clark, from the book by Phyllis McGinley, Weber State University; Microburst Festival, by Chelsea Hickman, Katie Jarvis, Chauntel Lopez, Amy McGreevy, Amber Plourde, Taryn Politis, and Amanda Welch, Brigham Young University; AutoPLAY: STOP, YIELD, and DETOUR by Ali Ahmad, Bryson Jones Allman, Zizou Arvizu, Jessica Atkinson, Emily Barnett, Keenan Carter, Ryan Connolly, Iesha Coston, Riley Dandy, Chenelle Danylowich, Stayton Danylowich, Gabrielle Duguay, Alejandra Marroquin-Flores, Jose Furlan, James Gil, Anna Gion, Stephanie Hernandez, Brazil Jiminez, Allison Joseph, Noah Katz, Bridget King, Emma Klages, Jai Marquel, Ward Mohammed, Caroline Muniak, Georgina Navarro, Teddra Nixon, Lisette Nunez, Vincent Perez, Alvaro Ramirez, Chellee Ray, Christopher Ray, Laura Sammons, Diego Sotelo, and Ana Maria Stanciu, The Theatre Academy of Los Angeles City College; and pool 63' by Philip Valle and members of the Company, Cuesta College
Outstanding Production of a Devised or Company Generated Work- pool 63' by Philip Valle and members of the Company, Cuesta College
The individuals below have been recognized for their direction of plays, musicals, classic and devised works, and new plays and musicals. Additionally, the "nominees" for each category-those individual artists under consideration-have been recognized for distinguished achievement.
Distinguished Directors of a Play: Carol Blitgen for Oleanna, Clarke University; and Alissa Millar for Miss Evers' Boys, University of Oklahoma
Outstanding Lead Deviser/Director of a Devised Work- Bree Valle, pool 63', Cuesta College
Distinguished Directors of a New Work: Ernest Zulia for Decision Height by Meredith Dayna Levy, Hollins University; George Nelson for Microburst Theatre Festival by Chelsea Hickman, Katie Jarvis, Chauntel Lopez, Amy McGreevy, Amber Plourde, Taryn Politis, and Amanda Welch, Brigham Young University; and Leslie Ferreira for AutoPLAY: STOP, YIELD, and DETOUR by Ali Ahmad, Bryson Jones Allman, Zizou Arvizu, Jessica Atkinson, Emily Barnett, Keenan Carter, Ryan Connolly, Iesha Coston, Riley Dandy, Chenelle Danylowich, Stayton Danylowich, Gabrielle Duguay, Alejandra Marroquin-Flores, Jose Furlan, James Gil, Anna Gion, Stephanie Hernandez, Brazil Jiminez, Allison Joseph, Noah Katz, Bridget King, Emma Klages, Jai Marquel, Ward Mohammed, Caroline Muniak, Georgina Navarro, Teddra Nixon, Lisette Nunez, Vincent Perez, Alvaro Ramirez, Chellee Ray, Christopher Ray, Laura Sammons, Diego Sotelo, and Ana Maria Stanciu, The Theatre Academy of Los Angeles City College
Distinguished Achievement in Music Direction- Rob Moffat for Next to Normal, Utah Valley University
Outstanding Achievement in Composition- Michael Elliott for Frankenstein, Ball State University
The individuals below have been recognized for their choreography of musicals and classic plays. Additionally, the "nominees" for each category-those individual artists under consideration-have been recognized for distinguished achievement.
Outstanding Choreography- Tori Lee Averett for Single Girl's Guide, Troy University Distinguished Achievement in Choreography: Melanie Stewart for Who will Carry the Word, Rowan University; and Christine Moreno for Good Woman of Szechman, Tarrant County College Northwest
The individuals below have been recognized for their outstanding achievement in design. Additionally, the "nominees" for each category-those individual artists under consideration-have been recognized for distinguished achievement.
Outstanding Scenic Design- Mark Evancho, Pentecost, Middlebury College Distinguished Achievement in Scenic Design: Zach Gent, In The Next Room (or the vibrator play), University of Southern Indiana; and Peter Lerohl, Las Hermanas Padillas, Anoka Ramsey Community College
Outstanding Costume Design- Elisa Bierschenk, The Single Girl's Guide, Troy University Distinguished Achievement in Costume Design: Jule Emerson, Pentecost, Middlebury College; Lyndsey Hille, In The Next Room (or the vibrator play), University of Southern Indiana; Bree Valle, pool 63', Cuesta College; and Amanda Shaffer, The Plain Princess, Weber State University
Distinguished Achievement in Lightning Design: Wayne Vettleson, Vortex, Albright College Distinguished Achievement in Scenography (2)-Danila Korogodsky, The Pirates of Penzance, Westmont College; AND Cocol Bernal, Vortex, Albright College
The individuals below have been recognized for their achievement in plays and musicals. Additionally, the "nominees" for each category-those individual artists under consideration-have been recognized for distinguished achievement.
Outstanding Performance by an Actress (2)-Jacquelyne Jones as Diana in Next to Normal, Utah Valley University; AND Rachel Staton as Ensemble in The Laramie Project, University of Mississippi
Tosca Giustini, Gabriella in Pentecost, Middlebury College
Renita lewis, Thyona in Big Love, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Grace Bailey, Emma in The Single Girl's Guide, Troy University
Kara McDowell, Harriet Belagombe in The Single Girl's Guide, Troy University
Outstanding Performance by an Actor (2)- James Weschler as Kafka in Kafka in Tel Aviv, Salem State University; AND Nathan Burke as Ensemble in The Laramie Project, University of Mississippi.
Kamron McClure, Caleb in Miss Evers' Boys, University of Oklahoma
Outstanding Performance and Production Ensembles -Next to Normal, Utah Valley University; pool 63', Cuesta College; Pentecost, Middlebury College; and Miss Evers' Boys, University of Oklahoma
Microburst Theatre Festival, Brigham Young University Big Love, University of Alabama at Birmingham Decision Height, Hollins University
Who Will Carry the Word, Rowan University
The Michael Kanin Playwriting Awards Program encourages and supports the development of student- written plays through a variety of honors, including fellowships at the Lark Play Development Center's Residency at New York Stage & Film, the Orchard Project, Sundance Theatre Lab, the Cape Cod Theatre Project, O'Neill Playwrights' Conference, the Playwrights' Center of Minneapolis, the Kennedy Center's Summer Playwriting Intensive, potential publication contracts, membership in the Dramatists Guild of America, and cash awards.
The Harold and Mimi Steinberg National Student Playwriting Award- Meredith Dayna Levy of Hollins University for Decision Height
The second place recipient is Karen Wurl of Texas Tech University for Underworld
The Paula Vogel Award in Playwriting recognizes the outstanding student-written play that celebrates diversity and concerns issues of gender and sexuality.
Jen Silverman of The Juilliard School/University of Iowa for The Dangerous House of Pretty Mbane
The second place recipient is Kristin Idaszak of the University of California-San Diego for The Liar Paradox
The KCACTF Theater for Young Audiences Award, in association with the Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences Program.
Reina Hardy of University of Texas at Austin for Annie Jump and the Library of Heaven
The David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award is presented in an effort to promote the writing and production of new plays in memory of David Mark Cohen, who was Professor of Playwriting, University of Texas at Austin.
The KCACTF Award for Latino Playwriting- Briandaniel Oglesby of University of Texas at Austin for She Gets Naked in the End
The second place recipient is Cassie M. Seinuk of Lesley University for From the Deep
The Paul Stephen Lim Playwriting Award, recognizing the outstanding play written by a student of Asian or Pacific Rim heritage, and sponsored by the University of Kansas Foundation.
Russyan Mark Mabeza of Brown University for Broken Zipper
The second place recipient is Michael Yichao of California Institute of the Arts for Jellyfish Pine.
The Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, presented in memory of the distinguished dramatist to the outstanding KCACTF student-written play on the subject of the African American experience.
Jeff Augustin of the University of California-San Diego for Little Children Dream of God
The second place recipient is Nathan Davis of Indiana University for Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea
The Jean Kennedy Smith Playwriting Award, supported by VSA-the International Organization on Arts and Disability-and presented to the student-written play that best explores the human experience of living with a disability.
Brian J. Polak of University of Southern California for Henry and the Hippocampus The second-place recipient is Vic Shuttee of University of Houston for Brick Wall
The National Finalists of the John Cauble Award for Outstanding Short Play
Kirsten Fentz of Ball State University for The Last Sunrise
Neal Adelman of Ohio University for Tarrant County
Brian James Polak of University of Southern California for War Profits Jordan Morille of Texas State University for Speedball
The National Finalists of the KCACTF Ten-Minute Play Award
Michael Yichao of California Institute of the Arts for Bread Stephanie Brownell of Boston University for Eskimo Pie
Tearrance Chisolm of Catholic University of America for A'nat Dittni Nick Carr of New York University for Pass the Lingonberries
The Rosa Parks Playwriting Award- Michael Parsons of Boston University for Sumner Falls
The Mark Twain Prize for Comic Playwriting- Abbey Fenbert of Boston University for Intentions
The National Partners of the American Theater Playwriting Award, in its fifth year and sponsored by National Partners of the American Theater (NAPAT), recognizes an outstanding playwright selected from 8 nominated playwrights. The award recipient will receive an expenses-paid residency to attend the "Playwriting and Transition to Media" seminar at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, led by Sean Clark, an alumni of the Michael Kanin Playwriting Awards program and the writer/producer of Early Edition, Slider, Coach, and Evening Shade.
The recipient of the National Partners of the American Theater Playwriting Award is Edward Precht, College of Charleston, for Bread and Circuses. The runner-up is Jordan Morille, Texas State University, for Love, Norman.
Additional award recipients will be announced at a later date.
EDUCATION AT THE KENNEDY CENTER: As the national center for the performing arts, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is committed to increasing opportunities for all people to participate in and understand the arts. To fulfill that mission, the Kennedy Center strives to commission, create, design, produce, and/or present performances and programs of the highest standard of excellence and of a diversity that reflects the world in which we live-and to make those performances and programs accessible and inclusive.
Education at the Kennedy Center includes resources from its presentations and productions and those of its affiliates: the National Symphony Orchestra, VSA (the international arts and disability organization), and Washington National Opera. The focus, locally and nationally, is on producing and presenting age appropriate performances and educational events for young people and their families; school- and community-based programs that directly impact teachers, students, artists, and school and arts administrators through professional development; systemic and school improvement through arts integrated curricula, inclusive classrooms, and universal design in facilities and learning; creating partnerships around the issues of arts education and arts integrated education; creating and providing educational materials via print and the Internet; developing careers in the arts for young people and aspiring professionals; and strengthening the management of arts organizations.
The education programs of the Kennedy Center have become models for communities across the country and have unlocked the door to learning for millions of young people. This has been accomplished by fostering creativity, teaching discipline, improving self-esteem, and challenging students to think in new ways, as well as offering them experiences in the pure enjoyment and excitement of the performing arts. For more information, visit the Center's website at www.kennedy-center.org/education.
For more information about the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, visit www.kcactf.org.