Shaw Festival 2010
Every fall, we travel to the Shaw Festival, one of Canada's premiere professional theatre companies and spend four days in Niagara on the Lake. We see four different productions, take backstage tours, participate in specialized workshops and talk backs, and engage in discussions with theatre professionals: performers, directors, designers, managers, and technicians. Students and faculty also spend some free time in the sites at Niagara Falls.
With 10 or more productions each year performed in four theatres for an audience of more than 250,000, the Shaw Festival has grown to become a major Canadian cultural icon, a gem in this country’s rich cultural heritage. Inspired by the wit and passion of Bernard Shaw, the Shaw Festival is a contemporary theatre that features a smart, provocative, potent and diverse mix of plays from the past and present, performed by our celebrated repertory theatre Ensemble.
New York City
Our annual spring trip to New York City allows students to explore the Big Apple during the day, taking in a matinee, shopping, sight seeing—or all of the above! In the evening we see one of Broadway's best musicals. We have seen:
- Billy Elliott, Xanadu
- Avenue Q
- The Producers
- Priscilla, Queen of the Desert!
See It Live
The "See It Live!" program travels within a 100-mile radius of Williamsport several times a year. We've recently visited:
- Penn State University
- Bucknell University
- Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble
- Bloomsburg University
- Lock Haven University
- Williamsport Community Arts Center
A few of the shows we've seen include:
- The Miracle Worker
- Much Ado about Nothing
- True West
- The Laramie Project
- Mamma Mia!
The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF)
All of our Welch Theatre shows are entered in the Festival each year as associate productions, which means that a KCACTF Respondent comes to see each production and offers verbal feedback to the company following a performance. Two student actors are selected from each production to compete in the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship competition, and student stage managers and designers also have opportunities to compete for scholarships in their fields.
Every year, each of the country's eight regions hosts a Regional Festival--
- Five days
- Workshops, staged readings, design displays, Tech Olympics
- Fully mounted performances of one-act and full-length plays
- Actors audition for the Irene Ryan Scholarship
- Stage managers present promptbooks
- Designers display work
- Students receive valuable feedback by theatre professionals from around the country
We are very proud of our students' achievements at KCACTF. At a recent Region II Festival, senior Amy Richards received the Region II Award of Excellence in Lighting Design in recognition of her lighting design for A Midsummer Night's Dream, produced in the Mary L. Welch Theatre. At another Festival, a team of Theatre Department students won the Tech Olympics, a hard-fought competition testing a variety of technical skills, from identifying tools to hanging and focusing a lighting instrument.
The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival is a national organization dedicated to the promotion of excellence in college and university theatre. Lycoming College participates as a member of Region II.
The Region II Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, includes competitors from schools in southwest New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Washington, D.C., northern Virginia, West Virginia, and Ohio.
Richards's design was critiqued at the Festival by a professional lighting designer, stage manager, set designer, and costume designer. She was then given feedback on her design and overall presentation, which included a concept statement, sketches, photos, and research. Richards says the judges were most interested in her process, including how her work evolved from the original concept to the final visual product.
"The Festival is a great opportunity," said Richards. "It was very exciting to have a professional lighting designer looking over my work and pointing me in the right direction. It's a great honor to be selected for the award and to represent Lycoming College."
This image from A Midsummer Night's Dream shows one of Amy's many lighting designs that reflects the play's atmosphere of mischief and magic. The production was directed by Grechen Lynne Wingerter, Visiting Instructor of Theatre at Lycoming.
"It's been wonderful working in the Theatre Department," Richards said. "There are a lot of opportunities if you are willing to put yourself out there. The only way you can really succeed in technical theatre and design is if you have the experience and the opportunities to get your hands dirty, play around, and try new things. The department has been very supportive of that." Richards's career at Lycoming culminated with her lighting design for our production of Wonder of the World.