Top Honor for Theatre & Film Arts Student

MESA, Ariz. – Mesa Community College’s Theatre & Film Arts Department student Jessica Thompson won the top design award in her field at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF), held at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., this past Saturday, April 19.
Thompson, a Desert Vista High School graduate (Awautukee, Ariz.), was honored, April 19  for her Theatre Sound Design for MCC’s production of East of the Sun and West of the Moon, which played at the college during the fall of 2013.
Thompson competed and won against 54 colleges and universities in the Region VIII KCACTF competition this past February in Los Angeles. Nearly three-quarters of the competing colleges and universities are four-year institutions, many with graduate programs in theatre. In the KCACTF competition, there are no divisions, so all students meet in head-to-head, whether from a two-year institution, a four-year school, or a graduate theatre program.
Typically, 550 college and university theatre programs compete at KCACTF nationwide. At this year’s national KCACTF competition, only six community college students qualified to compete, two from MCC’s Theatre & Film Arts program. Lindsey Halfhill, a Higley High School graduate (Gilbert, Ariz.), joined Thompson at nationals as the region's National Finalist in Costume Design. In addition, Thompson was the only woman to compete at the national level of KCACTF in Theatre Sound Design of eight competitors from the other seven regions.
Thompson is a three-dimensional artist that converted to theatre design. She cross-applied her art skills to her very first opportunity as a theatre sound designer for East of the Sun and West of the Moon. Her knowledge of art, along with mentoring from Theatre faculty and staff members Kara Thomson, Chris Tubilewicz, Mallory Prucha, and Troy Buckey, led to her success and eventual win against incredibly stiff regional and national competition.
MCC's Theatre and Film Arts Department is making quite a name for itself. Since 2008, the program has placed more students to the national KCACTF competition in the main eight competitive areas than any other community college theatre program in the nation. This makes the program at least one of the top few, if not the very best, community college theatre programs in the country.
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Dawn Zimmer (480) 461-7892
Sally Mesarosh (480) 892-1393
About Mesa Community College
Mesa Community College provides outstanding transfer and career and technical programs, workforce development, and life-long learning opportunities to residents of the East Valley area of Phoenix, Arizona. MCC excels in teaching, learning and empowering its more than 40,000 students who attend annually to succeed in a local and global community.  Mesa Community College is one of ten colleges that comprise the Maricopa County Community College District. For additional information please visit
About MCC Theatre & Film Arts
Theatrical education provides a valuable base from which to launch careers in film, television, stage, management, marketing, advertising, law, politics, theology, social work, and therapeutic fields among others. The Department provides its students with opportunities to work with industry professionals from across the country. Students have the opportunities to act, design, write, direct and crew a variety of productions. Please visit MCC’s Theatre & Film Arts online to learn more. Many MCC events are open to the public. Visit the college’s Community Events calendar for additional information
MCC is a Maricopa Community College.
The Maricopa County Community College District is an EEO/AA institution and an 
equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.

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Publication Date: 
Monday, April 21, 2014