Theater and Dance Students to Present at Kennedy Center Region II Festival

Posted on 1/5/2011 10:40:59 AM
Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival logo

Thirty-two students from IUP’s Department of Theater and Dance have been invited to present in a variety of ways at the Region II Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) in Baltimore, Maryland.

The conference takes place from Tuesday, January 11, through Saturday, January 15, 2011, at Towson University. During the festival, they will also be attending performances and workshops that will enrich their education.

The KCACTF Region 2 festival showcases outstanding creative work submitted by over one hundred colleges and universities from the eight-state region of Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia, New Jersey, Western New York, Northern Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Attendance is typically about eight hundred students and two hundred faculty members.

Six students will represent IUP in the Irene Ryan Acting Competition. Carolyn Chiurco, Samantha Fabiani, Whitney Weimer, Joseph York, Sean Barrett, and Caleb Feigles were chosen by regional respondents invited to Theater-by-the-Grove productions. They will perform scenes and monologues at the festival, with the possibility that one of them will be chosen to attend the national festival at the Kennedy Center in April. In 2005, IUP theater major Brett Mack was selected for this honor.

Nick Hrutkay, a theater major with aspirations to become a professional director, was selected for two presentations. He will direct his cast of Black Friday in “Fringe at the Festival.” “Fringe” is an edgy potpourri of works not eligible for the nine mainstage performance slots. Black Friday is a rock musical written by senior Theater major Joe York, set in an apocalyptic future world where mall security reigns.

Hrutkay was also selected for the prestigious Student Directing Competition sponsored by the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. He will direct IUP Theater majors Kate Bianco, Casey Cunningham, and Emily Brooks in a scene from the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Proof. Students are selected for this competition by a KCACTF panel based on application materials and having successfully directed a production at their home school. Applications are reviewed by a panel comprised of the SDC Directing Fellowship coordinator and other members of the Region 2 Directing Institute. This panel selects students to participate in the preliminary round of SDC Directing Fellowship program. A range of twelve to sixteen students are invited. One fellow is selected to attend the national festival as the region’s representative at the Kennedy Center, and this honor went to Hrutkay last year.

Occasionally a scene from a production is chosen for inclusion in the festival. A scene from IUP’s Crimes of the Heart, produced by Theater-by-the-Grove, has also been selected by the panel of jurists for inclusion in a showcase of scenes from Region II. Crimes of the Heart was directed by Professor Barbara Blackledge and performed at Theater-by-the-Grove in October 2010. Theater majors Whitney Weimer and Chris Anthony will perform the scene.

Also presenting at the festival from Crimes of the Heart will be student costume designer Leslie Palmer and student stage manager Ryan Thornhill. They will exhibit their supporting materials in the festival’s exhibition hall. They are eligible for regional and national awards, including participating as the regional representative at the national festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

In the past several years, IUP students have received these national awards in costume design, lighting design, stage management, dramaturgy, and sound design.