February 17, 2017 (Jackson, Miss.) - Belhaven theatre students and faculty took part in a week-long immersion of workshops, competition, networking and performances at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) in Statesboro, Ga.
At the invitation of KCACTF, Belhaven theatre students were asked to perform an excerpt from its 2016 production of Big Fish at the closing ceremonies; the performance received a standing ovation. During the festival, Dr. David Sollish, Belhaven theatre chair, was recognized for his directorial leadership for Big Fish and was given the 2016 Excellence in Direction Award.
The festival, February 8 - 11, gave students the chance to compete in different areas of theatre. Student-actors Marlon Banks, Michaela Bowen, James Kenyon and Frannie Maas, Madison Parrott and Olivia Simms participated in the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship competition.
Maas, a senior from Wheaton, Ill., said, These sorts of opportunities are a real eye opener! It pushed us out of our comfort zone, out of familiarity. We were all honored to represent our school and exchange ideas with other artists. It is especially unique that we approach our craft from a Christian perspective and showed the artistic community that we have valuable talents to bring to the table.
Alecia Gray and Alice Bryant participated in the stage management program, and Michael Tobin, Marie Haynes and Laina Faul participated in technical and design competitions. Faul, a senior from Vista, Calif., took part in the props competition. She said, As designers, we had the opportunity to present our work and get feedback from professionals and others in our field as well as practice interviewing and networking. As performers, we had the chance to strengthen our performing and auditioning skills. In only a few days, I met many people who may be invaluable to me as I attempt to realize my goals within theatre.