Several State Fair Community College students and faculty members were recognized and received awards at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF ) for Region 5, which took place in Des Moines, Iowa, from Jan. 16 through Jan. 21.

Region 5 includes colleges and universities in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Taylor Joronen and Gianna Ortiz from Windsor made it to the semi-final round of the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Auditions, where they performed alongside their scene partners Avory Nail of Lexington and Emma Miller of Union. Payton Lawrence of Norborne was cast and performed in the 10-minute play readings. James Hyde III of Blue Eye presented his sound designs for "The Tempest" and "The Rose Garden" at the Design, Tech, and Management Expo. Sarah Hensel of Provencal, Louisiana, participated in the Stage Management event at the festival and was lead stage manager for the semi and final rounds of the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Auditions.

The broadsword fight scene from "Henry V," directed by SFCC's Theatre Technical Director and Instructor Tim Wells, was selected to perform in the Invited Scene Showcase. This showcase is a selection of scenes from plays and musicals from college and university productions from around the region nominated for performance at the festival.

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Additionally, the SFCC Theatre Program received ten Certificates of Merit for theatre productions produced in the 2023 Spring and Fall semesters, including James Hyde III for original music composition as well as sound design and execution of fight choreography for "Henry V," Ryan Mahannah for direction, Braden Miller of Platte City for costume design in "The Tempest," and Annie Henson of Clever for costume design and execution of farce for "Not Now, Darling!" Certificates of Merit were also given to Avory Nail for costume design, Sarah Hensel for stage management, and SFCC Theatre Program Coordinator and Instructor Kristen Henning for Direction in "Junie B. Jones: The Musical."

Several students received numerous callbacks for professional auditions and technical interviews for professional summer theatre companies, with one student, Alex Knudsen of Branson, receiving six.

KCACTF is a national theater program involving 18,000 students annually from colleges and universities across the country. Since its inception, KCACTF has given more than 400,000 college theater students the opportunity to have their work critiqued, improve their dramatic skills and receive national recognition for excellence. More than 16 million theatergoers have attended approximately 10,000 festival productions nationwide (source:

In the photo: SFCC Theatre Program Students pose for a quick photo at the KCACTF Region V program.

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