Eric Yazell, State Fair Community College Theatre Arts program coordinator and instructor, received notification just before winter break that the college’s production of “Be More Chill” is one of seven colleges to be invited to perform at the  annual Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) Region 5.

This is the first time an SFCC production has been selected to perform at the festival that will be held Jan. 19-25 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

‘I’m very excited about this opportunity for our students and our program,” said Yazell. “It is a huge accomplishment for Kristen Henning, our adjunct instructor who directed the play, and our students – especially Victoria Stowell, the student who designed the set for the production.

The respondent who reviewed the college’s performance of “Be More Chill” last April recommended that we submit our production to the festival for consideration. I’m glad we did because this is a great honor to be nationally recognized for our quality productions by one of the largest regions in the festival. We’ve had actors, directors, set, sound and costume designers, stage crew, and instructors recognized for their theatre excellence before at the festival, but this is the first time one of our productions has been selected to be performed.”

Yazell explained that SFCC students will perform the play twice during the festival and may be considered for national awards recognizing outstanding achievement in production, design, direction, and performance. Last year more than 1,300 productions were entered in the KCACTF involving more than 200,000 students nationwide.

The Theatre program will hold an encore performance of “Be More Chill” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, in Stauffacher Theatre. Tickets are $8 and may be purchased online at, by calling the Box Office or emailing Wheelchair seating is available upon request. SFCC students and employees are free. The play is rated R for some harsh language.

The updated cast and crew who will be involved in the festival performances are:

Jeremy Heere—Garrett Hight, Oak Grove
Christine Canigula—Alyce Wilson, Eldon
Michael Mell—Holden Childress, Urbana
Jake Dillinger—Joshua Barner, Lee’s Summit
Rich—Cody Jones, Harrisonville
Chloe—Torrie Shelly, Warrensburg (original performer Hannahmaye Doster, Odessa)
Brooke—Tessa Luechtefeld, Warrensburg
Jenna Rolan—Maquinnlyn Frerking, Fayette
Jeremy’s Dad/Mr. Reyes/Scary Stockboy—Ben Brewer, Strafford (original performer Jesse VanBooven, La Monte)
The Squip—Noah Summitt, Warrensburg
Ensemble—Tehya Robinson, Kansas City (original performer Alecia Bennett, Kansas City); Allison Hayes, Macon;, Taylor Winfrey, Marshall; Dakota Swain, Lowry City

Jan Turley (conductor and keyboard I)
Michael Sproles (keyboard II)
Tony Schneider (drums)
Drew Beeman (guitar)
Levi Hudnut (bass guitar)
Walker Schotte (trumpet), Versailles

Production Team/Crew
Director—Kristen Henning, instructor
Assistant Director/Stage Manager—Kim Ransdell, Lincoln (original production Lauren Dowell, Odessa)
Props Master/Assistant Stage Manager—Aren Goodwin, Warrensburg
Music Director—Kevin Holbert, staff
Choreography—Dana Goosen, staff
Fight Choreography—Wade Hughes
Dance Captain—Tessa Luechtefeld, Warrensburg
Scenic Design—Victoria Stowell, Sedalia
Costume Design—Kim Windle, staff
Co Hair/Makeup Design—Maquinnlyn Frerking, Fayette; Alyce Wilson, Eldon
Lighting Design/Technical Direction—Tim Wells, instructor
Sound Design—Eric Yazell, program coordinator, instructor
Sound Consultant—Doug Briscoe
Original Artwork: poster, program—Cheyenne Johnson, Cole Camp
Publicity—Tiffany Bryant, staff
Run Crew—Taylor Ireland, California, Missouri; Denver Montgomery, Knob Noster; Kya Kampe, Warrensburg; Ageilicia Ward, Sedalia; Sara Stansbury, Mary’s Home

--KCACTF is a network of more than 700 academic institutions. Since its inception, KCACTF has given college theatre students the opportunity to have their work recognized nationally. The festivals feature the finest of each region's submitted productions and offer a wide range of activities, including workshops, symposia, and regional-level scholarship and award programs. Region 5 includes colleges and universities in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.


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