West Chester University’s Department of Theatre and Dance Shines at Regional Festival

Cast of Local Girls with WCU President Christopher FiorentinoThe Department of Theatre and Dance at West Chester University was well represented at the Region II Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF), held at the University of Maryland from January 14 – 18, 2020, in College Park, MD.

Now in its 52nd year, the festival attracts theatre students and faculty from colleges and universities in six Mid-Atlantic states for four days of theatre training and competition. Attending students go to workshops, panel discussions, enter competitions, and perform in readings or fully staged productions. In all, about 70 colleges and universities are represented at the festival that features a wide range of professional development opportunities in all areas of theater. Of the 1000 students in attendance, 46 were from West Chester University. They were joined by 5 faculty members from the department.

During the festival, eight shows, produced at participating schools over the course of the year, are chosen by a committee to receive a fully staged presentation at the festival. This year, West Chester’s production of LOCAL GIRLS, directed by Associate Professor of Theatre Leonard Kelly, was one of the eight productions. The performance took place on Wednesday, January 15 at 8 p.m. in the 625-seat theatre and was met with abundant enthusiasm from the audience members in attendance.

Harvey Rovine is the Chairperson of the Department of Theatre and Dance and a Professor of Theatre. He says, “It’s worth noting that all of West Chester’s productions for the 2018-19 season were put “on hold” for consideration to be fully produced at this festival. We as a department are very proud of how our students perform at this festival, and of the many times a West Chester production has been chosen to receive a fully staged production. It’s become commonplace for us and is a testament to the strength of our department and the high quality of work that we produce.”

In addition, a handful of West Chester University students were recognized with festival awards and honors including:

  • Rachel Borczuch of Silver Spring, MD, was presented the National Award for Theatrical Design Excellence for Sound Design for Macbeth. She has been invited to attend the National Festival in Washington, DC this spring.
  • Myles Martin of Philadelphia, PA, was presented the National Award for Theatrical Design Excellence for Lighting Design for Macbeth and the National Don Childs’ SILV Award for Cross-Discipline Collaboration for Macbeth. He has been invited to attend the National Festival in Washington, DC this spring and to attend the Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas this summer.
  • Alondra Santos-Castillo of Norristown, PA was presented the Region II Vectorworks Award for the Scenic Design for Local Girls.
  • Aubrey Holzman of Washington, NJ, with scene partner Carissa Sanden, advanced to the Irene Ryan’s Acting Scholarship semi-finals.
  • Chris Mancaruso of West Chester, PA and Lauren Ralston of Horsham, PA were both called back for the Open Jar Institute Scholarship. Chris was also selected to be student representative for the festival.
  • Leslie Monaco of Havertown, PA, was called back for the Musical Theatre International Dance Award.

The Department of Theatre and Dance at West Chester University, an accredited institution of the National Association of Schools of Theatre, prepares students for the professional and the academic worlds of Theatre and Dance, while raising student awareness of civility, diversity, creativity, problem solving and social responsibility. The department offers a BA Theatre degree program with elective concentrations in Musical Theatre, Performance, and Design and Production, in addition to a dance minor and theatre minor. 


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