The Department of Theatre and New Dance is celebrating their recognition by the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF).
A scene from the department’s 2013 production of “The War of the Worlds,” based on an adaptation of Orson Welles’ infamous 1938 radio show, has been included in the festival’s Evening of Invited Scenes. The original cast of students will perform a scene from play, which is centered on a Martian invasion of New York City, at the festival in Los Angeles, Feb. 12-15. More than 1,000 students, faculty and professionals from universities and colleges across the western United States will be in attendance.
When the theatre department produces a play, they invite a regional KCACTF representative to attend a performance. After the play, the representative primarily gives the students feedback on their performances and techniques, but may also nominate the production for a regional honor. Only 10 colleges and universities were chosen for the Evening of Invited Scenes out of 50 nominations.
“The War of the Worlds” director Bernardo Solano, who is a professor and department chair, says that he and the students were overjoyed about the news. “I was totally surprised. It was nothing we had anticipated or even asked for,” he says.
Solano also says that the honor boosts the morale of the entire department. “It raises the bar for us,” he says, “and it serves as an external validation that we’re doing good work and are at a high level of performance.”
KCACTF is a national theatre program that aims to improve the quality of college theatre and provide an outlet for theatre students to showcase their work.