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Drama Students Converge to Collaborate, Learn, Perform and Compete at Theatre Festival

WCU Department of Theatre and Dance performing "Godspell"

The week of Jan. 13, more than 1,200 students and theatre artists from 90 universities and 11 independent/professional theatre organizations came to West Chester University for the annual Kennedy Center American College Theatre (KCACT) Festival.

There were 68 West Chester student participants and 15 WCU faculty participants, as well as 45 students and 3 faculty members who volunteered. Faculty who presented workshops included John Bellomo, Constance Case, Thomas Haughey, Leonard Kelly and Juliet Wunsch. Andy Truscott, a WCU class of '09 theatre arts alumnus, was this year's festival manager.

The conference included workshops and performances, a fringe showcase, plus competition in performance, design, stage management, directing, criticism and dramaturgy. West Chester's Colleen Walsh won the Regional Stage Management Award and was named best festival stage manager. Team WCU also won the Fringe Challenge with their production of Go On.

Other WCU student recognition went to Khalil McMillan and partner Drew Slattery who advanced to the final round of the Irene Ryan acting competition (16 finalists) where McMillan was named as Alternate to the Kennedy Center and Slattery was awarded the best partner scholarship. Becca Clair advanced to the final round of the Musical Theatre Initiative while Jeremiah Bean received first runner-up in the Stage Directors and Choreographers Directing Initiative.

WCU's Leonard Kelly, who teaches acting, voice for the performer, and dialects for performance, was honored with the Gold Medallion for excellence in theatre education.

KCACT Region 2 comprises public and private universities from Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Northwest New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia.