Recently, 10 lucky theater students from Sheridan College were able to attend this year’s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ American College Theater FestivaL in Sacramento, Calif.
During the week-long event, they competed in an acting competition, saw many college, university and professional plays, attended theater workshops and lectures, and made many academic and professional theater contacts.
Instead of hearing me drone on about the importance of this annual event for our students, I thought it would be refreshing to hear from the students themselves.
I asked them to write about their experience at the KCACTF. The following are samples of their formatted responses:
“The KCACTF competition was great because I got to see what other schools’ talent was. It was a good way to see about a place to transfer after Sheridan. Also, it made me realize that we are not that far behind as far as talent goes.” — Jacob Claytor
“Theater is where I learn to trust others, and myself, which leads to exhilaration. In the end, when the spotlights have cooled and the makeup has been washed off, I am thankful I will have the experiences engraved in my memory.” — Larrisa Epperson
“Not only was the KCACTF an entire week of being involved in something that I love, but I also learned a lot that will help me in my future pursuits in performing. The workshops were informative, the plays were of good quality, and I made new friends.” — Emily Greer
“After going to watch the semifinals, I got a better sense of what the judges were looking for. I am confident that because of this experience, I have returned to Sheridan with a new paradigm of what acting really is and I will be a better performer because of it.” – Shelley Hancock
“The chance to meet students and instructors from other states and compete against and with them was an incredible experience. The whole experience was sort of an exercise in the realities of professional theatre.” – Christopher Schultz
“All in all, it was a great experience for a young actor, considering almost everyone there was a senior or higher. It showed me that there’s a lot of opportunity to make it.” –Myles Stillman
“The KCACTF is so educating because it aims to teach us real world experiences rather than just topics regurgitated from 20- year-old text books. I learned about the craft and the business opportunities behind theater. I also learned about many programs I can pursue after I receive my degree from Sheridan College.” — Stephanie Stull
“I learned how to use different acting methods than those I was taught at Sheridan College and have brought back a lot of information and ideas to help improve my performance within the theater program. I have an idea of where I want my life to go within the theatre now, and I think that is the most valuable piece of knowledge from this trip.” — Wesley Walter
Sheridan College theater students and faculty wish to thank Tandem Productions, Tin Star Records, the Sheridan College Foundation and President Paul Young for making participation in the KCACTF possible.