STUDENTS NOMINATED FOR SCHOLARSHIP


Bernadotte Sufka Features & Opinions Editor

A festival for the Theatre Department has been set in place. Their production “An Enemy of the People,” this month brought the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival staff to invite them to celebrate their work.

“KCACTF stands for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. It’s a festival where college theatre programs meet up annually to celebrate theatre in every aspect, whether that be the acting, musical theatre, playwriting, props, costuming, lighting, etcetera,” said theater major Matthew Lopes, a senior.

“We had two respondents listen in on the show and then through Zoom. The cast and crew got to meet the respondents and receive feedback on our production, as a whole, and we were all also given the chance to ask these very educated Theatre respondents any questions we wanted to know specifically,” said Lopes.

Students have worked hard to gain this much outreach and attention. As the university’s Theatre Department was recognized, they will also hold their production for a re-broadcast at this year’s festival. Even amid COVID-19, rewards have been obtained and scholarships have been given.

“It is a great honor for any production to be held for consideration by the festival,” said Michael Skinner, Theatre Chairperson, in an email.

“It represents the hard work, talent, and dedication of our students and our program here at SCSU,” said Skinner.

The festival will be held virtually. There is no factor to limit the information though as many guest speakers, artists, presentations, and more will be available for view. Workshops will be held; faculty and students must register online.

“Another reason they came was to help the director and production manager decide on which actors and designers to send to KCACTF this February to compete in the different contests and scholarship competitions that the Festival has to offer,” said Lopes.

“One of the contests I am more specifically familiar with personally would be the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Competition, where actors from around the New England area prepare a couple of scenes and a monologue to showcase their talents for the region to see and to possibly win a College Scholarship while doing it,” said Lopes.

Two students, Daniel Santana-Gonzalez and Matthew Lopes, have been nominated for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship. Typically, the Theatre Department allows for only one nominee per each production along with an alternate. The choice had been made due to the online switch and will allow an easier transition. The nominees’ auditions can be done through monologue and avoid the gathering of multiple people for scenes.

Lopes decided to decline the nomination while runner up, Samhain Perez will compete for the scholarship with Santana-Gonzalez.

It will be an easier and more convenient process for the selected students. The festival will start next year in January during the regular registration and leave students a clear, open pathway to walk through.

“I’m excited because in high school we had awards and now I can get to continue that in college,” said theater major Nicole Thomas, a sophomore.

“Getting nominated is the hard part. I don’t know too much about it, but I feel you have to be the lead or play a higher part in the show to get nominated. I won’t be attending the Festival this year but if I get nominated or can eventually bring something with me then yes,” said Thomas.

A festival with many opportunities, information, scholarships and enjoyment is what students at the university’s theatre program have accomplished in earning their rank and title among other theater students. It is a major success and although the content will be held from a computer screen, the students’ hard work within their production speaks volume.

Photo credit: Sam Tapper

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