All the World's an MCC Stage!
Members of MCC's theater program not only attended a national theater festival, but they took home top honors as well!
Last May, a respondent from the Kennedy Center Theatre Festival attended the MCC Theatre Department’s production of Little Women, the musical. From that performance
Heather Conti Clark and Ashley Jeffers were chosen to compete for the Irene Ryan award with Leo Jordan attending as an alternate.
Since 1972, the Irene Ryan Foundation of Encino, California, has awarded scholarships to the outstanding student performers at each regional festival. These scholarships are made possible by the generosity of the late Irene Ryan who is best remembered for her portrayal of the lovable and feisty 'Granny Clampett' in The Beverly Hillbillies .
Heather was also nominated for the Richard Maltby award for Musical Theatre excellence.
This past week Karen Oster, department chair, and MCC Theatre Department students Heather Conti Clark of Chelmsford, and her scene partner Victoria Tham of Lowell, along with Ashley Jeffers of Lowell and her scene partner Kelly Maglio of Pelham, N.H., and Leo Jordan of Chelmsford and his scene partner Kaitlyn Crockett of Chelmsford attended the festival.
Heather Conti Clark advanced to the semi finals. there were 220 Irene Ryan nominees from all over KCACTF region I. 36 were chosen for the semi finals.
A Merit award was given to Karen Oster and the cast of Little Women for excellence in music direction and musical performance.
At the final awards ceremony, Heather was awarded the New England Theatre Conference (NETC) best comic actor award!!!! Congrats Heather!
Started in 1969 by Roger L. Stevens, the Kennedy Center's founding chairman, the Kennedy Center American College Theater (KCACTF) is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide which has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college theater in the United States. The KCACTF has grown into a network of more than 600 academic institutions throughout the country, where theater departments and student artists showcase their work and receive outside assessment by KCACTF respondents.
The goals of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival are:
To encourage, recognize, and celebrate the finest and most diverse work produced in university and college theater programs;
To provide opportunities for participants to develop their theater skills and insight; and achieve professionalism
To improve the quality of college and university theater in America;
To encourage colleges and universities to give distinguished productions of new plays, especially those written by students; the classics, revitalized or newly conceived; and experimental works.
Through state, regional, and national festivals, KCACTF participants celebrate the creative process, see one another's work, and share experiences and insights within the community of theater artists. The KCACTF honors excellence of overall production and offers student artists individual recognition through awards and scholarships in playwriting, acting, criticism, directing, and design.
KCACTF is a year-round program in eight geographic regions in the United States. Regional activities are coordinated through eight KCACTF regional chairs and eight KCACTF playwriting awards chairs. With funding and administrative support from the Kennedy Center, the regional chair coordinates with the Co-Managers of KCACTF all aspects of the adjudication of productions on the local and regional level and supervises regional-level KCACTF award competitions. The playwriting chair works with schools that have entered new and student-written plays by providing expertise in the development of new scripts--assessment specifically designed for a developing play--and by providing information on the numerous playwriting awards offered.
In January and February of each year, regional festivals showcase the finest of each region's entered productions and offer a variety of activities, including workshops, symposia, and regional-level award programs.
Since its inception, KCACTF has given more than 400,000 college theater students the opportunity to have their work critiqued, improve their dramatic skills and receive national recognition for excellence. More than 16 million theatergoers have attended approximately 10,000 festival productions nationwide.