MISHAWAKA, IND. -- In January 2019, the Bethel College Theatre Department will be taking a trip to Madison, Wis., to attend the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF), which is a national theater program. Twenty students and three faculty and staff members will be taking part in the five-day trip.
KCACTF was founded in 1969 by Roger L. Stephens and boasts an involvement of 18,000 students nationwide. Held annually in January and February, KCACTF holds regional festivals to highlight the best productions and actors from every region. It also has multiple activities to choose from including workshops, symposia and award programs. In addition, KCACTF holds playwriting competitions and gives out awards based on the value of the chosen play.The students attending from Bethel will be competing in multiple different competitions. The 12 acting students in attendance will compete in The Irene Ryan Competition, The Irene Ryan Scholarship Audition, The Open Jar Audition and the Musical Theatre Intensive. The seven technical students attending will compete in the Design, Technology, and Management Competition (DTM). The Theatre Department also has a team compete in the Tech Olympics every year. One of Bethel’s students, Kayla Rundquist, has written and entered two plays to be considered for awards. Every student in attendance will also be in multiple workshops and viewing other plays put on by other attending colleges. Barb Franklin, Theatre Arts Box Office Manager and Theatre Arts Secretary said a group is sent to KCACTF to help them gain knowledge and experience in theatre and to be exposed to what other college students are doing and to compete, as well. “It gives them the opportunity to compete for scholarships and recognition in their particular field of theatre,” she said.