A group of Emerson students and recent graduates returned from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) in Connecticut last weekend with awards and solid presentation experience.
The KCACTF (Region 1) was held January 31 to February 4 at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury. Performing Arts faculty members chose students to represent the College based on their work on Emerson Stage productions from the past year.
“We had five students from our school in attendance who all displayed remarkable professionalism, a willingness to listen and engage with the [professionals] in their areas, and a curiosity and hunger for the many workshops being offered at the festival,” Performing Arts Properties Director Ron De Marco, who attended with the students, said in an email.
Connor O’Leary ’18 won the KCACTF Award for Excellence in Allied Design and Technologies for James and the Giant Peach, performed last fall. The award is the highest in the Allied Crafts category, which covers props, costume crafts, puppetry, and prosthetics, and comes with an all-expenses paid trip to the United States Institute for Theatre Technology conference in St. Louis in March.
Kerri Killeen ’16 and Sam Buntich ’16 won an LMDA (Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas)/KCACTF Student Dramaturgy Award for Richard III. Killeen also won a Dramaturgy Program Note Regional Award for the same play.
Abby Shenker ’17 took home the Barbizon Award for Achievement in Scenic Design for Caucasian Chalk Circle.
Three Design/Tech majors – Shenker, O’Leary, and Jeremy Stein ’17 – presented their work to a panel of design and technology professionals from college and professional theaters across the Northeast.
Killeen and Mary Olsen ’17 spoke about their work as dramaturgs on Richard III and Mrs. Warren’s Profession. A dramaturg researches and develops plays.
Buntich, who did not attend the festival, said Emerson’s dramaturgy program offers students expert faculty and course work that is “fascinating” and relevant to what’s happening in the theater world.
“Best of all, Emerson dramaturgs get the opportunity to work on professional-level productions, to be in the room while a show is being made, and to be supported by directors and the administration,” she said.