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Lycoming College celebrated student successes at the 52nd Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, Region 2, from Jan. 14-18. This year’s festival hosted 15 Lycoming students and several faculty at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland. The theatre department takes a group of students each year to this vibrant and enveloping festival — and each year Lycoming Students thrive.
While at the festival, students presented their work to reviewers, competed for recognition and awards in their respective areas of specialization, took part in collaborative projects with students from various theatre programs in Region 2, took professional workshops, observed theatre productions, engaged in discussions, and learned from the best theatre practitioners and faculty in the northeast United States. This year’s festival, with its proximity to the active theatre community in Washington, D.C., offered a number of very rewarding experiences, from a keynote by Maria Manuela Goyanes, the newly-selected artistic director of Woolly Mammoth Theater Company, to chances to meet and talk with an array of theatre professionals.
Lycoming College had five students and four partners compete for the prestigious Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship. Each of these groups received excellent feedback from faculty respondents from across the region. Students Dan Egan and Cason Morgan, along with a partner from West Liberty University, won awards for improvisation in the festival’s “Games and Misdemeanors” competition. Jessalyn Smith was recognized for her participation in, and completion of, the ASPIRE Arts Leadership program. Allison Feinstein participated in the Monologue Slam event. All Lycoming students took advantage of an opportunity to see eight selected performances, representing some of the best college theatre from our seven-state region.
“The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival is one of the most valuable experiences that our students have each year,” said Biliana Stoytcheva-Horissian, Ph.D., associate professor of theatre, chair of the department, and head of acting and directing. “The festival allows our students to bridge their classwork and the outside world of theatre. KCACTF provides many opportunities for discussions, partnerships, and other learning activities where our students can directly apply the things they are doing in our classrooms.”
The KCACTF is a national theatre program involving 20,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide annually, and a network of more than 700 academic institutions throughout the country. KCACTF encourages, recognizes, and celebrates the finest and most diverse work produced in university and college theatre programs.
This year’s student participants included:
- Sara Altieri ’21 (New Castle, Pa.) – theatre major; French minor
- Nicholas Auletti ’20 (East Quogue, N.Y.) – theatre major; history minor
- Esmeralda Cabrera’20 (North Hollywood, Calif.) – corporate communications major; theatre minor
- Daniel Egan’20 (Upper Darby, Pa.) – corporate communications, business administration major; theatre minor
- Allison Feinstein’22 (Philadelphia, Pa.) – undeclared major; education certification
- Heather Flatley ’22 (River Vale, N.J.) – theatre major; entrepreneurship minor
- Amanda Goulden’20 (Whippany, N.J.) – film and video arts, theatre major
- Caleia Hagwood’21 (Bridgeport, Pa.) – theatre major; corporation communications minor
- Mitchell Kelly ’23 (New Orleans, La.) – theatre major; entrepreneurship minor
- Cason Morgan’21 (Danville, Pa.) – theatre major; film and video arts minor; education certification
- A’Feyah Smith’20 (St. John, Virgin Islands) – theatre major; photography minor
- Jessalyn Smith’20 (East Windsor, Conn.) – art major; entrepreneurship minor
- Jennifer Spencer’20 (Philadelphia, Pa.) – theatre major
- Kiera Vinson’22 (Clarion, Pa.) – theatre, French major
- Tara Wands ’23 (New Columbia, Pa.) – theatre, psychology major