Twenty-four Dordt College theatre arts students and four faculty attended the annual Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) last week. There are eight weeklong KCACTF festivals across the nation, each drawing from a particular region. The Midwest region, which is the largest, with five states represented, held its festival in Des Moines this year.
“At the festival, we attended workshops in various theatre subjects ranging from acting to set model making to theatrical dance to ‘How do I get a job in theatre?’” explained junior English and theatre arts major Erica Liddle. “We also watched shows selected from various colleges. Another big part of the week was looking at all the expo work done by other colleges.”
Dordt College was awarded several Certificates of Merit:
•Lazzi Moliere: Jennifer Allen, Scenic Design; Josiah Wallace, Mask Design and Implementation
•Much Ado About Nothing: Jennifer Allen, Scenic Design; Kyle Fosse, Sound Design; Erica Liddle, Lighting Design and Assistant Director
•And Then There Were None: Logan Radde, Director
Dordt students submitted their technical work—including graphic design, makeup design, sound design, lighting design, and scenic design—from various productions the department had performed within the past year to the theatre expo. Senior digital media productions major Kyle Fossé won the national sound design award for his work on Much Ado About Nothing. Liddle won the national lighting design award for her work on Much Ado About Nothing. Both students will represent the Midwest region at the Kennedy Center American Theater Festival in April. This is an all-expenses paid opportunity to share their work and develop their craft at workshops with nationally recognized sound and lighting professionals.
Fossé was also recognized for all his theatre work and was awarded a scholarship to attend a weeklong program at the Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas. Senior Stephanie Korthuis won an honorable mention in the Regional Makeup Design category for her makeup design for the short film Wilder.
Dordt Costumer Sue Blom’s costumes for Much Ado About Nothing were also selected as a part of the Costume Parade at the closing ceremonies for the festival. Five of her costumes were selected by costume design professionals from outside our region to be shown onstage.
Students also had the opportunity to audition for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship. Students are nominated based on their work in their institution’s performances, and nominees present a scene with a partner of their choice at the festival. Dordt’s Irene Ryan nominees were Ben Kuiper, Nathan Ryder, Erica Liddle, Josh Bootsma, Peter Rexford, Annie Sears, Harrison Burns, and Kyle Fossé. The first round of auditions includes about 360 Irene Ryan nominees. Bootsma and Rexford made it to semi-finals, a pool that included 64 nominees. The last time Dordt had students proceed to the semi-finals was seven years ago.