Gearing Up for KCACTF

Emerson Students gearing up to go to the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region 1

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. Region I of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival has traditionally involved institutions from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, but now includes Eastern New York. The festival is an exciting time for student technicians and designers. Last year there were sessions that explored state of the art lighting of technology, career opportunities in technical theatre, the use of color, and tips for creating the ideal portfolio. Some of the many other sessions had topics such as how to get into grad school, lighting design techniques and tools, and an introduction to free software.
A major element of this annual festival is the Design & Technologies Exhibition which provides opportunities for students to share work from all areas of theater; some realized projects and some ‘paper’ projects. Design displays are presented at the festival to a panel of respondents who are professional not affiliated with the region. Design awards in Region I are given at both the national and regional levels. At the national level, one student from each design discipline is invited to bring their exhibit to the National Festival in Washington, DC in the spring.

The region’s festival this year is held at University of New Hampshire, from Tuesday 1/26 to Saturday 1/30/10. The design students participating these year include: Megan Kinneen for Set Design (Illyria), Sydney Robinson for Costumes (6 Characters), Tracy Wertheimer for Lighting (Esperanza Rising) and Brendan Doyle for Sound (Esperanza Rising). The students were recommended by the KCACTF Respondents that attended our shows and vetted by the Design-Tech Faculty. This year Design Faculty Rafael Jaen will serve as Co-Chair for Design, Technology and Management. Stage Management Faculty Debra Acquavella will serve as Stage Manager Coordinator and Workshop Leader.

Below, Tracy Wertheimer’s display boards:
Thumbnail image for Tracy Wertheimer Lighting Project.jpg

End of the Semester

Our last production meeting of the semester was this morning. A post production meeting about ILLYRIA, and a concept meeting about PAINT, this year’s NewFest winner. PAINT will be produced at the end of March, but auditions are the week we get back and designs are due a week later.

The Costume Shop hosts an annual end of the semester/holiday party. Here are a couple of photos from today’s fete, where a good time was had by all, even if the chocolate fountain broke. Note the makeup/craft project which adorns most of them.

goodmoustache1.jpgAnd here’s a photo of the wonderful shop staff:

shopstaff2.jpgTop: Rafael Jaen, Richelle Devereaux-Murray
Bottom: Jennifer Guadagno, Debra Krasa

ILLYRIA Costume Designer Courtney Irizarry

Emerson Stage benefits from the hard work of students both on and off stage. Our recent production of ILLYRIA had student set, costume and lighting designers.

Here’s a great piece on Courtney Irizarry, the Costume Designer of ILLYRIA. Interested in the process of designing costumes for a musical? Get some insight here.


Emerson Stage is in process

A mid-November check in for Emerson Stage. Our third show, ESPERANZA RISING, is open. ILLYRIA is in rehearsal, ready to open mid-December. X-DANCE is in rehearsal. THREE SHORT PLAYS BY WOMEN PLAYWRIGHTS is being cast as we speak. NEWFEST scripts are in, and in the hands of the readers. And our first INTO THE WOODS meeting (concept) is in a couple of weeks.

And we’re planning the 10-11 Season.

Are you interested in learning more about process? Each production has a dramaturg, and each production has a blog. Check them out, they are a great source of information and inspiration!


Esperanza is Rising

ESPERANZA RISING opened last Friday. Pam Munoz Ryan, the author of the book, was on hand for talkbacks Friday and Saturday, and did a book signing on Saturday afternoon. There was another talkback on Sunday about immigration. The dramaturgs have also made a short film about immigration, which is playing in the lobby of the Cutler Majestic Theatre.

There are two more public performances–Friday at 7:30 and Saturday at 2pm. The blog has a lot more in depth information about the show, and there is a study guide available for download. When you come to the theater, make sure you visit the lower lobby and see the dramaturgical display.

Don’t miss this show!

Mid Semester Check in

This is always the craziest time of the year for Emerson Stage. Two shows have gone up, INCORRUPTIBLE and SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR (entries to be posted on both later this week). ESPERANZA RISING just loaded into the Cutler Majestic, and opens on November 13. ILLYRIA is in rehearsal–the music has been learned, and the book work is in progress. X DANCE is in rehearsal. The three SHORT PLAYS BY WOMEN PLAYWRIGHTS have been chosen, and auditions are next week. NEWFEST submissions for the Rod Parker Playwrighting Award are due November 12, which means that Joe Antoun and his reading committee will start processing the submissions, of which we hope there are many. And the INTO THE WOODS director and design team have started to meet.

In addition, we are starting to look at ideas for next season, with the hopes of getting that chosen before winter break.

And then there are classes, mid terms and the attempts by all to stay healthy.

Daunting. Yet, as is the wont in theater, tremendously inspiring. The collaborative nature makes the work more enjoyable. The hard deadlines of an opening night provide focus. And the talent and dedication of our students, faculty and staff make the process a learning one.

Hopefully you came to see INCORRUPTIBLE and SIX CHARACTERS. Don’t miss ESPERANZA RISING. And get your tickets to ILLYRIA.  The NEWFEST winner will be announced in December.

And then we will rest. For a bit.