Updated January 18, 2022

West Chester University’s Department of Theatre and Dance PLAYS HOST AND SHINES at Regional Festival

WEST CHESTER, Pa. ­­— West Chester University’s (WCU) Department of Theatre and Dance was virtual host to theatre students and faculty from colleges and universities in six Mid-Atlantic states from January 11 – 15 for the Region II Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF).Sarah Ford at Kennedy Center American Theatre College Festival

Celebrating its 54th year, the festival offered workshops, panel discussions, competitions, and for this year and last year, virtual readings and performances. More than 20 colleges and universities were represented at this year’s festival, including the Pennsylvania State University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, SUNY Brockport and SUNY Binghamton, Lafayette College, and others. More than 350 students and faculty were in attendance. When live, the festival attracts more than double that.

West Chester University has been an active and successful part of the Kennedy Center Festival for many years. They hosted the festival live in 2016 and WCU productions are regularly chosen by a committee to be presented for festival attendees. Typically, about 50 West Chester University students attend the festival and submit work for national awards consideration in acting, allied crafts and stage management. West Chester University students land atop the leaderboard each year for number of awards received.  Approximately 25 West Chester University students attended this year’s virtual festival.

WCU student involvement at this year’s festival included:

  • Three WCU students presented in the field of Design, Technology and Management:
    • Kelly Donnelly, Allied Crafts for the WCU production of House Arrest in Spring, 2021.
    • Shane Wilson, Sound Design for Triangle Factory Fire Project in Fall, 2021
    • Logan Santana, Stage Management for Triangle Factory Fire Project in Fall, 2021
  • Four WCU students (Madalyn DeFelice, Aliyah Green, Kat Gregory and Sydney Cain-Frazier) competed in the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship, a scholarship that provides recognition, honor, and financial assistance to outstanding student performers wishing to pursue further education. Aliyah Green advanced.
  • Four WCU Students (Sarah Ford, Nyred Jackson, Clare McKernan and Logan Santana) were part of the Musical Theatre Intensive Auditions. Sarah Ford and Clare McKernan advanced.

WCU Student Awards at this year’s festival included:

  • Shane Wilson won Honorable Mention for Sound Design for The Triangle Factory Fire Project
  • Leslie Monaco won Outstanding Ensemble Performance of a National Playwrighting Program Reading for The Vivian Play
  • Sydney Cain-Frazier won Outstanding Performance in the 10-Minute Play Sad Loved Ones Who Have To Work In The Morning

Click here for a full list of winners at this year's Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

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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