Story by Kreneice Reed, Northwest Journalism student
Based on their academic performance, school attendance and preparation of their presentations, a selected handful of Northwest Mississippi Community College theatre majors were granted the chance to attend the annual Region IV Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) held in Roanoke, Va., Feb. 4–8.
This is the fourth year that Northwest students have been able to attend the national theatre festival partially due to funds raised by the Northwest Player’s Club.
The 2014 KCACTF Region IV events was hosted by Hollins University Theatre.
The group was chaperoned by David Morgan, Northwest technical director. “I was impressed with how mature our students were and how they took advantage of the many seminars and master classes that were offered,” said Morgan.
In addition to workshops, the KCACTF program also encourages student recognition by providing competitions that grants both awards and scholarships in playwriting, acting, criticism, directing and design. Three students, Maurin “Tony” Penn of New London, Conn. (“Romeo & Juliet”), Leah Dill of Olive Branch, (“Sanders Family Christmas”) and Michael “Chip” Malone of Lake Cormorant (“Sanders Family Christmas”) were all nominated to participate in the Irene Ryan Competition. Irene Ryan is an acting competition allowing students to showcase skill level and compete against other students for national scholarship money provided by the Irene Ryan Foundation. The competition consists of three rounds and the KCACTF Region IV included 210 contestants.
“The experience was very educational, and I appreciate having the chance to perform for the Irene Ryan Judges,” said Penn. “It was a really great experience, because I learned a lot and had a blast,” said Dill.
Hannah Herring, a freshman from Horn Lake, was nominated for the National Lighting design her work on “Sanders Family Christmas.” Due to her outstanding stage management skills in the play productions of “Romeo & Juliet” and “Sanders Family Christmas,” Candice Monteith of Southaven was nominated twice for the National Stage Management Award.
“There were a lot more workshops and shows offered this year opposed to last year. I also was given the opportunity to stage manage the Irene Ryan finals and be critiqued on my stage management skills,” said Monteith.
The theatre department thanks Northwest President, Dr. Gary Lee Spears, for his support for the annual trip, Morgan and also Sadie Shannon, theatre instructor for their love, dedication and support.
Pictured: (Left to right) Maurin “Tony” Penn of New London, Conn., Kreneice Reid of Water Valley, Heather Pate of Greenwood, Chip Malone of Lake Cormorant, Wesley Williamson and Leah Dill both of Olive Branch, are the Irene Ryan Nominees and their scene partners who attended the KCACTF event. (Submitted photo)