Three State Fair Community College Theatre Arts students received more than applause as a result of competing at the 50th annual Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival’s (KCACTF) Region 5 that was held Jan. 21-27 in Des Moines, Iowa.


Sophomores Victoria Stowell, Sedalia; Alia Stepney, Columbia; and Lauren Dowell, Odessa, each received offers that could be springboards for professional theatre careers.

Stowell was recognized for her work designing the stage props for “Night of the Living Dead Live!” She won the Design Technology Management Legacy award and the Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas Award that includes a full tuition paid internship at the Stagecraft Institute in the area of her choice.

Stepney and Dowell were invited for callback auditions for summer productions at professional theatres. Dowell also was invited to interview for a professional theatre technical position and offered a position at North Dakota Shakespeare as Assistant Stage Manager, Props and in the acting ensemble.

Five students were honored with nominations by respondents from other colleges and universities in Missouri for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship competition. They performed with an acting partner of their choice: Stepney (“Musical Comedy Murders of 1940”) with partner Stowell; Dowell (“Night of the Living Dead Live!”) with partner Stowell; Alyce Wilson (“Women Playing Hamlet”), freshman, Eldon, with partner Alex Swords, freshman, Sedalia; Hannahmaye Doster (“Women Playing Hamlet”), freshman, Odessa, with partner Tyler Singer, sophomore, Odessa; Connor Marshall (“A Year With Frog and Toad”), sophomore, Bates City, with partner Jesse Vanbooven, sophomore, La Monte.

Dowell and partner Stowell were selected to perform in the semifinals for the Irene Ryan scholarships, which ranked them in the top 20 percent out of 315 nominees from 80 colleges and universities.

Students who competed in the Stage Crew Showdown were Dowell, Stowell, Singer, and sophomore Regan Smith from Odessa.

SFCC’s Eric Yazell, Theatre Arts program coordinator and instructor, was recognized for his sound design for “Night of the Living Dead Live!”

KCACTF is a national theatre program dedicated to the improvement of collegiate theatre. Since its inception, KCACTF has given more than 400,000 college theatre students the opportunity to have their work critiqued and to receive national recognition for excellence. The regional event featured theatre arts programs from undergraduate and graduate schools in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

In the photo: SFCC Theatre Arts program students competed for scholarships and awards at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival’s annual Region 5 event Jan. 21-27 in Des Moines, Iowa. Front row, from left, Alia Stepney, Alicia Eldred, Tyler Singer, Alex Swords, Kristen Henning (adjunct instructor), Jesse Vanbooven, Lauren Dowell, Dakota Swain, Hannahmaye Doster, Maryanne Henley, Connor Marshall, Alyce Wilson. Kneeling from left, Regan Smith and Victoria Stowell.