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.
The cutest Johns you ever did see, Wrong for the Part 2016
Last weekend I had the great opportunity to get out a perform again. It’s been a while. I haven’t performed in a real show since I was in An Evening’s Affair last August. This one was a small affair, just two performances with only a handful of rehearsals beforehand, but it was tremendous fun, and I got to play a part I was “wrong” for all over again.
The Kathy Rasmussen Women’s Theatre (KRASS)’s show Wrong for the Part allows people to stretch their skills, taking on roles that they could never dream of being cast in, usually for demographic reasons. Women play men, old play young, black play white. And while most of the show was centered on scenes and monologues from straight theater, I was given the chance along with seven companions to play around with a very lively musical number. Continue reading
While on the hunt for promising sources for my honors project (a literature review on writing tutor scholarship related to the concept of ‘tutor as artist’) I came across an article on 750words.com.
750words.com is a pretty simple website based on a pretty simple concept:
Write 750 words. Every day.
Participating in school activities can get you all kinds of places. Madison College Performing Arts arranged a 24-hour field trip to Milwaukee last Friday. I and four other students had the chance to tour the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, meet with actors and crew, eat some awesome food, and see a fantastic show.
The Invisible Hand by Ayad Akhtar is playing on the theater’s Stiemke stage. It tells the story of an American businessman kidnapped by Islamist extremists in Pakistan in the near future. The small cast played this difficult and thought-provoking work so engagingly and the crew and designers created a beautiful piece of work, which we were able to enjoy all the more potently because of our tour and talks beforehand. It was a hugely educational and fun experience, and talking to the actors and crew not only about the play but about their vocations at the professional level was an exceptional opportunity. Kelsey, Shalin, Owais, and Audra were all kind and wonderful, and I hope I have the opportunity to meet them all again.
The Mitby Theater on the Madison College Truax campus is one of the loveliest theaters in town. It was originally built as a space for the Madison Symphony Orchestra, and so its acoustics are darn near perfect.
It seats just under a 1000 people, which can be intimidating when your trying to shepherd any straggler you can into a seat on performance night. Even when you have a house of 100 they are eaten up by the great cavernous maw of the space.
But the size of the Mitby is one of the reasons I was so excited to stage manage in it. Running a show out of such a majestic venue promised to be exactly the kind of learning experience I wanted to get out of college theater. I’ve run plenty of shows, mainly through my dearly beloved Young Shakespeare Players, but none of them has prepared me for real-world stage-managing and show-running like working Clybourne Park in the Mitby.
The whole show was such a beautiful learning experience and the skills and self-knowledge I have earned over the past three months will be immeasurable as I continue my journey in theater and the arts.