The Winona State University Department of Theatre & Dance (THAD) participated at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) Jan. 18-23 in Minneapolis.

WSU students Brad Krieger and his acting partner Casey Howe advanced to the semi-finals in the Irene Ryan acting competition. Amy Kennedy, Brett Burger, Ross McNall and Cody Anderson were also Irene Ryan participants with their partners Adam Calcagno, Marcus Wodarski, Brady Beckman and Emma VanVactor-Lee. Juniors Amy Kennedy and Brady Beckman successfully auditioned for the musical theatre intensive that was produced the last day of the festival. THAD students also auditioned for summer production companies including Great River Shakespeare Festival and the majority of the students received several callbacks.

WSU THAD Chair Jim Williams directed one of six 10-minute plays that were produced in the Dowling Lab at the Guthrie Theatre. THAD assistant professor Heather Williams-Williams performed in the annual faculty-acting showcase. Costumer Tracy Van Voorst received Certificates of Merit for her costume and make-up design for the THAD productions of The Venetian Twins and Assassins. The Venetian Twins was also invited by a peer-reviewed jury be part of the ACTF costume parade held at the Guthrie Theatre. THAD associate professor Peggy Sannerud was also selected to be respondent for the annual Stage Crew Showdown.

KCACTF is a national theatre education program that aims to identify and promote quality in college-level theatre production. As a member of Region V, THAD participates in a weeklong conference that includes acting competitions, workshops and productions with students and educators from Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas. As a national educational theatre festival KCACTF gives over 400,000 college theatre students a chance to have their work critiqued and recognized through awards and scholarships in the fields of acting, dancing, singing, playwriting, costume construction, dramaturgy, house managing, directing and design.

For more information, contact Jim Williams at JiWilliams@winona.edu

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Brett Burger

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