Annual Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Welcomes 900 Students

WASHINGTON — West Chester University will host 900 students and faculty from colleges and universities in New York (including SUNY Oswego), Pennsylvania, and Maryland at the Region Two festival of the 48th annual Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival on January 12–16.

This is the second of eight consecutive weekly celebrations of excellence and achievement of theater in higher education.

Individual participants and full-scale productions are eligible for awards recognizing excellence in the art and craft of theater. Individual awardees and representatives from selected productions will be brought to Washington, D.C. for an expense-paid trip to the national festival, April 12–16, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

A comprehensive listing of awardees will be announced in mid-March 2016.

Productions invited to be showcased at the Region Two festival are presented by Albright College, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, Howard Community College, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Millersville University of Pennsylvania, Robert Morris University, SUNY Oswego, and West Chester University of Pennsylvania.

The eight invited productions were selected from 49 eligible productions from the region.

Now in its 48th year, the KCACTF national festival will bring together award recipients from regional festivals around the country to the Kennedy Center, April 12–16.

The national festival includes master classes with leading artists from the American theater, an opportunity for the student participants to engage with colleagues from across the nation, attendance at productions at leading Washington D.C. theaters, interviews, and auditions for scholarship and residency opportunities, and the national award ceremony recognizing:

Outstanding Production of a Play, a Musical, a Classic, a New Play
Outstanding Devised or Company Generated Work
Outstanding Scenic, Costume, Lighting, and Sound Design
Outstanding Choreography or Movement Direction
Outstanding Direction of a Play, or a Musical
Outstanding Performances by an Actress and Actor


Albright College (PA)
Clybourne Park, by Bruce Norris

Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania (PA)
Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom, by Jennifer Haley

Howard Community College (MD)
Argonautika, by Mary Zimmerman

Indiana University of Pennsylvania (PA)
Soldier’s Heart, by Tammy Ryan

Millersville University of Pennsylvania (PA)
Bury the Dead, by Irwin Shaw

Robert Morris University (PA)
Love’s Labours Lost, by William Shakespeare, adapted by Michael Friedman and Alex Timbers

SUNY Oswego (NY)
The Bacchae, by Matthew Gasda, adapted from Euripides

West Chester University of Pennsylvania (PA)
Ghosts, by Henrik Ibsen, adapted by Richard Eyre


Developed in 1969 by Roger L. Stevens, the Kennedy Center’s founding Chairman, the KCACTF encourages and celebrates the finest and most diverse theatrical productions from colleges and universities nationwide.

Through the regional and national festivals, the KCACTF celebrates the achievements of theater programs, individual students, and faculty of colleges and universities throughout the United States.

The eight regional festivals provide opportunities for colleges and universities to showcase their finest work to diverse audiences of theater students and faculty from their regions.

In addition to the invited productions, students and faculty attend workshops, master classes, juried design expositions, seminars, summer stock and graduate school auditions, and other professional development opportunities that build bridges between higher education and the professional theater community.

In July 2014, the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center along with the Kennedy Center, National New Play Network, and Stage Directors & Choreographers Foundation announced the start of the National Directors Fellowship (NDF), a five-year joint initiative which will fast track the professional development of 25 early-career stage directors.

As part of this year-long fellowship, the 25 fellows will attend the MFA Playwrights’ Workshop and Directing Intensive, led by NNPN and KCACTF.