State Fair Community College Theatre Arts students and an instructor received commendations and certificates at the annual Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) for Region 5 that was held Jan. 20-26 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Seven students were nominated by respondents from other colleges and universities in Missouri for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship competition that was held during the festival. They performed with an acting partner of their choice: Lauren Dowell, Odessa (partner Noah Summitt, Warrensburg); Dakota Swain, Lowry City (partner Kim Ransdell, Lincoln); Alyce Wilson, Eldon (partner Josh Barner, Lee’s Summit); Hannahmaye Doster, Odessa (partner Victoria Stowell, Sedalia); Cody Jones, Harrisonville (partner Holden Childress, Urbana); Tessa Luechtefeld, Warrensburg (partner Victoria Stowell); and Garrett Hight, Oak Grove (partner Holden Childress).

Jones (partner Childress) and Wilson (partner Barner) advanced to the semifinals (top 20 percent) of the Irene Ryan Scholarship competition from 337 undergraduate and graduate student entrees from seven states. The field narrowed from 66 students in the semifinal round to 16 competitors for the final round. Wilson and partner Barner were able to advance to the top four percent. The Irene Ryan Foundation awards eight $500 regional scholarships and one national scholarship annually through the KCACTF.

At each of the eight KCACTF regional festivals, the Voice and Speech Trainers Association presents one Vocal Excellence Award to a student who participates in the Irene Ryan Scholarship competition. SFCC Theatre major Alyce Wilson received the award for Region 5. The award recognizes and celebrates outstanding vocal work in students across the United States.

Other nominations for recognition included Wilson and Swain for The Actress; Dowell and Doster for Like You Like It; Jones and Luechtefeld for Dracula; Hight and Summitt for Wanda’s Monster.

Certificates of Merit were awarded to Sara Stansbury of Jefferson City for her performance in Dracula; Allison Hayes of Macon, in sound design for Dracula; Dowell in stage management for Dracula; the cast of Wanda’s Monster for ensemble performance; and SFCC Instructor Tim Wells for student mentorship for the production of Dracula.

--KCACTF has grown into a network of more than 700 academic institutions that annually involve 20,000 students nationwide. Since its inception, KCACTF has given college theatre students the opportunity to have their work critiqued and to receive national recognition for excellence. The festivals feature the finest of each region's entered productions and offer a wide range of activities, including workshops, symposia, and regional-level scholarship and award programs. Region 5 includes schools in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

In the photo: SFCC Theatre Arts program students competed for scholarships and received awards at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival’s annual Region 5 event. Front row, from left, Sara Stansbury, Lauren Dowell, Kimberly Ransdell, Hannahmaye Doster, Victoria Stowell. Back row, from left, Noah Summitt, Holden Childress, Garrett Hight, Alyce Wilson, Cody Jones, Maryanne Henley, Tessa Luechtefeld, Josh Barner, Alecia Bennett and Dakota Swain.


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