Winter in retrospect

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Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

Over the winter break I won two awards at the Region 3 KCACTF.

The first was from the Institute of Theatre Journalism and Advocacy for their theater writing workshop series. I and 13 other college students saw and wrote critiques of the plays that had been invited to perform at the festival.

It was a little hectic. You watch a show at 7:00 PM at night and submit your pithy but precise review by 6:00 AM the next day whilst surrounded by your rambunctious classmates playing Cards Against Humanity. But then, it seems I always do my best writing between 2:00 and 4:00 at night.

The second competition I participated in was Design Storm. That, if anything, was even more chaotic. Over three days my group of 6 designers were tasked with creating and presenting a complete production design for The Tempest. I acted as dramaturg, naturally.

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Our presentation board for Design Storm

I knew back in December that this would be my responsibility, so I had assembled a very thorough dramaturgy packet on the play, complete with images of Genie from Aladdin. Unfortunately, I never had a chance to share my work with the group, since a last minute location change and misguided transportation made me an hour late for an hour long first meeting.

Still, there were some extremely talented designers in my group, particularly the scenic and costume designers, and we put together a cohesive and beautiful design, that earned us an honorable mention (read: second place) at the awards ceremony at the end of the festival.

It was a stressful but rewarding week. I cried quite hard on the second day, but overall it was a blast and I learned a lot about what I do and don’t like in theater and theater education.

I took some fabulous workshops, but the ones that have stuck with me all these months later are the Commedia Dell’arte and Shakespeare workshops. I’d love to study Commedia in more depth, and the Shakespeare workshop turned one of my bard-averse classmates into a slightly less skeptical dummy.

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