Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

KCACTF at MCC in 2017!

Mesa Community College Theatre & Film Arts is excited to announce that MCC will be hosting the 49th KCACTF Region 8 festival in February 2017. Stay tuned for more details.

The Kennedy Center American College Theater (KCACTF) is a national theater program involving students from colleges and universities nationwide. Their goals are:

To encourage, recognize, and celebrate the finest and most diverse work produced in university and college theater programs.

To provide opportunities for participants to develop their theater skills and insight; and achieve professionalism.

To improve the quality of college and university theater in America.

To 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.

KCACTF is an exciting opportunity for our students to interact with their peers and gain regional and, perhaps, national exposure. At the discretion of the faculty, the Department will, from time to time, enter Mainstage productions into the Regional Competition.

Some Mainstage productions are entered as Participating Entries and are, therefore, eligible to attend regional and national competition. If a student is involved in a Participating Entry, the time commitment goes far beyond the normal run-of-show. KCACTF regional competition is usually held in February and will require travel and additional rehearsals.

One  Mainstage production is entered as Associate entries and one as a Participating in the annual KCACTF competition. The Participating means that a production is eligible to be nominated for the regional or national levels of the competition, and these productions are therefore is designed for travel. The Associate entry is not able to be nominated and thus is not designed for travel. However, an adjudicator does attend the both productions to give feedback to the participants, including Director, designer, and actors. Designers and Stage Managers along with two actors from each production may be nominated to proceed to the regional level of the Irene Ryan competition. If they choose to take advantage of this offer, they will go to the annual KCACTF regional (usually held in February) and perform a monologue and (with a partner of faculty choice who travels with them) a scene. Regional finalists, and their partners, travel to Washington D.C. to compete for the Irene Ryan scholarship at the Kennedy Center, usually in April. The scholarship is awarded for the school of the winner’s choice.

MCC students Angel Moreno and
Chris Vehon in front of their 
display at KCACTF in Utah.

MCC Theatre & Film Arts students that have participated in competition at both regional and national levels have earned a number of awards in various categories. The second show of the fall theatre season is entered into KCACTF. This production will showcase student artists work and receive outside assessment by KCACTF respondents.

MCC student Mercedes O'Bannion 
poses with her costuming display

Theatre & Film Arts Student Achievements at KCACTF


Jessica Thompson - 1st place for Scenic Design & Emerging Talent Award

Caitlin Hardwick - 2nd place for Technical Design

Janae Dunn - Semi-finalist, Irene Ryan Acting Competition (Tom McCoy, scene partner)


Lindsey Halfhill - 1st place for Costume Design

Jessica Thompson - 1st place for Sound Design

Nathan Lewis - National Partners Association Classical Acting Award and Finalist,  Irene Ryan Acting Competition (Jonathan Manno, scene partner)

Tyler Scrivener - Three Meritorious Achievement Awards in Property, Puppetry and Scenic Design


Nathaniel Lewis - Cast from Next Step Auditions as a Company Member at the Neil Simon Theatre

Matthew Huss - Cast from Next Step Auditions as a Company Member at the Missoula Children's Theatre


Glenn Starr - 1st place for Technical Direction

Jesse Soper - 2nd place for Property Design

Tasia Mercadante - 2nd place for Makeup Design 

Tyler Scrivner - 3rd place for Scenic Design

Kenzie Wood - 3rd place for Lighting Design

Matthew Huss - 2nd place for Dramaturgy

Nathaniel Lewis - Cast from Next Step Auditions as a Company Member at the Neil Simon Theatre

Kevin Dressler (Performance Faculty) - Excellence in Theatre Education Award


Aaron Dilley - 1st place for Scenic Design

Vanessa Granillo - 1st place for Make-up Design

Hollie Ortiz - 1st place for Property Design

Augustus Hines-Rotter -  Semi-Finalist, Irene Ryan Acting Competition (Warren Lewis, scene partner)

Nathaniel Lewis - Semi-Finalist, Irene Ryan Acting Competition (Jonathan Manno, scene partner)

Toby Rash - Semi-Finalist, Irene Ryan Acting Competition (Ashley Halfhill, scene partner)

Jonathan Manno – Admitted to Cal State University/Los Angeles Chicago-style Comedy Program through Next Step Auditions 

Augustus Hines-Rotter and Nathaniel Lewis - Meritorious Achievement Award for Ensemble Work and Evening of Invited Scenes Scene Award, both for The Infernal Machine

Kara Thomson (Design Faculty) - Excellence in Theatre Education Award


Katie Augustyn - 1st place for Sound Design

Anthony Jannuzzi - 2nd place for Lighting Design


Zhanae Breeden - 1st place for Sound Design

Christopher Steward,  JennAfer Spruell and Nathan Schauer -  2nd place for Property Design