Theatre students compete, hone acting skills in Ames

Theatre students compete, hone acting skills in Ames

by Joshua BrammerStaff Writer

Theatre students and faculty will join thespians from a collection of other schools at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival regional competition at Iowa State University in Ames Jan. 21-28.

Students attending the festival will have many opportunities to develop their theatrical skills by participating in activities including staged productions and workshops with artists from all over the country. There will even be a class in western-style stage fighting.

“Our whole department is very excited about this year’s festival,” said Ann Woldt, lecturer and outreach coordinator. “Not only do we have numerous students participating, but Tom Woldt, chair of the Theatre Department, is beginning his three-year term as chair of the Region V Festival. Simpson College will be well represented.”

Started in 1969, KCACTF is a national program including more than 15,000 students from all over the country. KCACTF honors entire productions, as well as individual students through awards and scholarships in areas such as acting, directing and design.

During the festival, students have the opportunity to showcase work that ranges from designs to entire scenes from performances. A scene from the fall production of “Standing on My Knees” was chosen to be performed, and senior Sarah Harriman’s costume design for last year’s production of “Into the Woods” was selected to be showcased in a competition against faculty, staff and graduate designers.

This isn’t the first time Harriman has had work showcased. She has taken designs every year to be exhibited, and during her sophomore year, she was awarded second place in a makeup competition.

“The festival is a great time,” Harriman said. “It’s an amazing opportunity for people to gather who have a common passion. We collaborate on ideas and have a great time attending all of the events.”

There are many students competing for awards at this year’s festival. Six students are competing in the Irene Ryan Acting Competition, including junior Angela Vogel. This is Vogel’s third year at KCACTF and the second time she’s competed in the acting competition. Vogel thinks that students get a lot out of attending the festival.

“KCACTF is a great experience because it gives theatre artists the opportunity to present their best work and to see the achievements of others from other institutions,” Vogel said. “It also gives theatre artists the chance to push themselves and learn about a variety of theatrical avenues.”