first_imgUniversity of Southern Indiana Theatre students recently brought home an impressive list of accolades from the Region III Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) held this year in Indianapolis. KCACTF is a national theater program that hosts around 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide, allowing theater departments and students an opportunity to showcase their work and receive outside assessments and critiques from respondents and theater professionals.Approximately 40 USI students, professors and staff members traveled to the festival which included a closing production of the USI Theatre production of Mr. Burns, a post-electric play in Clowes Hall located on the campus of Butler University. This was the fourth USI Theatre production to present at the KCACTF, and the first to close the festival.“The festival provided our students opportunities to demonstrate their skills in acting and design, as well as working as a team to assemble, perform and repack our production of Mr. Burns in one day,” said Paul Weimer, USI assistant professor of performing arts. “They also took advantage of the many workshops available to extend their knowledge and meet students from other colleges who share their passion for theatre.”The Regional Design Competition allows students to showcase work in their given fields of theatrical design, fields which include lighting, costumes, scenery, and sound. USI senior Austin Tenbarge won the Outstanding Lighting Design Award for his unrealized design of Slaughter City. Nicholas Smith, a senior, won Honorable Mention for his Lighting Design for Oedipus Rex.The National Awards for Theatrical Design Excellence focuses on realized designs that have been produced on stage. Four USI students advanced to the final rounds: Rachel Thomas, a senior, for lighting design on The Glass Menagerie(She won the national competition in lighting in 2015 and 2016); Fred Kelley, a junior, honorable mention for sound design on Mr. Burns; John Merritt, a junior, for costume design on The Glass Menagerie; and Rachel Clark, a junior, who won the Theatrical Design Excellence award for her costume design for In the Red and Brown Water. She will be invited to present her work in April at the national competition at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.“This was my first time submitting a design to the KCACTF Festival. In fact, this was my first ever realized costume design,” said Clark. “You can imagine my surprise to come home as the recipient of the Theatrical Design Excellence Award. It’s truly an honor and the support I’ve received from the entire program has been absolutely amazing. I’ll proudly represent USI’s Theatre Program this April at nationals!”Kelley added, “I was surprised to hear that I won an award my first time attending KCACTF. I’m thankful for the professors in the USI Theatre Department who helped me prepare for KCACTF, and for all the support they gave me from the early stages of designing the show, all the way through to giving my presentation at KCACTF.”This is the third year in a row that USI design students have won national awards and advanced to represent the University at the finals in Washington D.C. During the festival, USI senior Nicholas Smith also co-presented a workshop, “Pixel Mapping Panel Design and Fabrication,” which was funded through a USI Endeavor grant.Craig Bellwood, a 2016 alumnus, was the winner of the Region III round in the Musical Theatre Intensive Competition and will advance to the final round at the national competition in Washington, D.C. where he will compete against the winners of the other seven regions.USI Theatre students also competed in the Irene Ryan Acting Competition, which provides recognition, honor and financial assistance to outstanding performers seeking to pursue further education in the arts. Participation in the event is limited to only those students who have been nominated to compete by regional responders. Aimee Bonnet, a 2016 USI alumna, and Jordyn Terrell, a sophomore, advanced to the semifinal round.USI student and faculty participation in the festival is made possible, in part, through the support of the USI Foundation.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more