Theatre Simpson seeks honors at festival


by Jolene Richeson

Over thirty Simpson students and faculty left campus Tuesday to gain exposure to other college productions and to compete for awards at a regional theater festival.

The yearly regional Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KC/ACTF) takes place in Lincoln, Neb. this year.

This five-day festival provides an environment for students and faculty to share their theatrical works and also to learn new ways to produce theater.

Opportunities are also provided for attendees to view other collegiate productions. These productions compete for awards and the chance to perform at nationals.

“KC/ACTF is a great opportunity not only to share our work, but to meet some very talented people,” senior Missy Sheehy said.

“We are also able to see what other schools in our region have been working on in the past year,” she said.

Those performing at the festival require a nomination by the theater department, but others are encouraged to attend if they are interested.

According to Tom Woldt, professor of theater and the coordinator of the 2002 region five workshops, “Going to this festival provides an important experience. It also adds to the growth of students as artists.”

People attending this festival have the opportunity to participate in over 74 different workshops in the areas of acting, lighting and costume design. Faculty members from other institutions as far away as New York and Santa Fe conduct the sessions.

Tom Woldt and Ann Woldt, adjunct professor of theater, will also be running workshops of their own.

According to Ann Woldt, this year’s workshop will be different than those she has directed in the past.

“In the previous year, I spent more time talking about what you can do with a degree in theater,” Ann Woldt said. “This workshop is going to be more interactive. Students are going to be able to try their hand at doing commercial voiceovers.”

Students benefit from the hands-on experience and instructor feedback.

“I think one of the most worthwhile thing about KC/ACTF is that you get the opportunity to listen to critics for their suggestions of improvement,” senior Craig Kaufman said.

Kaufman was nominated for his performance in “Life’s a Dream,” and he will compete for both acting and lighting scholarships at the festival.

The expectations for those participating are the same as years prior. Woldt said he simply expects people to do their best and present good work. He hopes they receive good feedback and overall have a good learning experience.

Simpson has been participating in KC/ACTF for at least ten years. The department received as honorable mention for the national award two years ago for their performance of “Woman in Black.”