Charles Fortenbacher ACF Abstract FY11

"Irene Ryan Performance Audition Scholarship Competition"

Conference Name: Kennedy Center-American College Theatre Festival

Started in 1969 by Roger L. Stevens, the Kennedy Center's founding chairman,
the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) is a national
theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities
nationwide which has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of
college theater in the United States. The KCACTF has grown into a network of
more than 600 academic institutions throughout the country, where theater
departments and student artists showcase their work and receive outside
assessment by KCACTF respondents.

Through state, regional, and national festivals, KCACTF participants
celebrate the creative process, see one another's work, and share
experiences and insights within the community of theater artists. The KCACTF
honors excellence of overall production and offers student artists
individual recognition through awards and scholarships in playwriting,
acting, criticism, directing, and design.

The KCACTF is a year-round program in eight geographic regions in the United
States. Regional activities are coordinated through eight KCACTF regional
chairs and eight KCACTF playwriting awards chairs. With funding and
administrative support from the Kennedy Center, the regional chair
coordinates with the Co-Managers of KCACTF all aspects of the adjudication
of productions on the local and regional level and supervises regional-level
KCACTF award competitions. The playwriting chair works with schools that
have entered new and student-written plays by providing expertise in the
development of new scripts—assessment specifically designed for a developing
play—and by providing information on the numerous playwriting awards

In January and February of each year, regional festivals showcase the finest
of each region's entered productions and offer a variety of activities,
including workshops, symposia, and regional-level award programs. Regional
festival productions are judged by a panel of three judges selected by the
Kennedy Center and the KCACTF national committee. These judges in
consultation with the Artistic Director select four to six of the best and
most diverse regional festival productions to be showcased in the spring at
the annual noncompetitive national festival at the Kennedy Center, all
expenses paid.

Since its inception, KCACTF has given more than 400,000 college theater
students the opportunity to have their work critiqued, improve their
dramatic skills and receive national recognition for excellence. More than
16 million theatergoers have attended approximately 10,000 festival
productions nationwide.

Page last modified January 24, 2011