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Georgia Southern students, faculty participate in Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival regional competition

Faculty and students from Georgia Southern University’s Theatre Department on the Armstrong and Statesboro campuses were recently invited to participate in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) Region 4 competition, held in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

The KCACTF, a national theater program involving 20,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide annually, strives to promote the work of theater faculty and students throughout the country. KCACTF Region 4 consists of colleges and universities from Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and southern Virginia. Only 125 students and faculty from across the elected regions earn nominations to participate in the festival.

“The festival participation of nominated students and peer responses to faculty scholarship inspire continued rigor and relevance in the theatre program,” said Pamela Sears, theatre professor. “These nominations represent a theatre industry standard of excellence and an academic point of pride for the university.”

Students and faculty were nominated based on their adjudicated performances in a university show in 2019. Generally, respondents are theater professionals from the region who attend a show as a peer reviewer and offer feedback to the cast and crew after the performance.

Below are the categories and nominees from Georgia Southern:

  • ASPIRE, a program designated to develop future arts and theater managers from underrepresented populations such as women and people of color: Bryce Hargrove
  • Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships: Cat Wyatt, Delany Chesnick, Paige Oney, Charles Boykin, Myron Simmons, Jr., Elizabeth McCooey, Armistead Thackston, Joey Hukin,  Julien Mendes, Annika Simpson, Julien Mendes, Triston Brooks, Jordan Soto, Annie McLarin and Heather Byler
  • Stage Management: Francesca Foster, Gabrielle Scott, Kelsi Simpson, and Zoe Morrow; Gabrielle Scott received honorable mention
  • Sound design: Christopher Wilson and Justyn Ferguson
  • Scenic Design: Ryan Beverly
  • Lighting Design: Spencer Collins and Dallas Boyd
  • Costume Design: Samantha Farrington
  • Dramaturgy: Grace Henley
  • Student Choreography: Jordan Steve
  • Faculty Scenic Design: John E. Wright
  • Faculty Director: Nicholas Newell and Pamela Sears
  • Faculty Lighting Design: John E. Wright
  • Faculty Costume Design: Sarah McCarroll, Ph.D.

The goals of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival are to encourage, recognize, and celebrate the finest and most diverse work produced in university and college theater programs; provide opportunities for participants to develop their theater skills and insight; and achieve professionalism; improve the quality of college and university theater in America; and encourage colleges and universities to give distinguished productions of new plays, especially those written by students; the classics, revitalized or newly conceived; and experimental works.

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/R2 institution founded in 1906, offers 141 degree programs serving more than 26,000 students through nine colleges on three campuses in Statesboro, Savannah, Hinesville and online instruction. A leader in higher education in southeast Georgia, the University provides a diverse student population with expert faculty, world-class scholarship and hands-on learning opportunities. Georgia Southern creates lifelong learners who serve as responsible scholars, leaders and stewards in their communities. Visit


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