Someday, after approximately four years of showing up to class, turning in the assignments, late night runs to La Jua’s, and admittedly missing that 7:45 a.m. every now and again – we will all graduate with a degree and some core memories.
For the Northwestern Theatre Department students, one of these core memories will be attending KCACTF.
KCACTF stands for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival; With everything from informational workshops to acting competitions and professional auditions, KCACTF is where an aspiring theatre artist wants to be! Just before leaving for such an exciting trip, Life is a Dream cast member, Liam Nibbelink said he was “excited to get to go on this trip with theatre friends and get to create art with my friends from the department”.
While this is thrilling for the individual, KCACTF is also a wonderful way to collaborate with artists from other colleges and grow stronger bonds with the friends you already have, too. Another fantastic opportunity that this festival offers, is for colleges, divided by regions, to have the chance to show off what they produced throughout the year. This is accomplished by a panel of respondents viewing productions throughout the region (In our case, the Midwest region, Region 5), and selecting five to seven shows to be performed at the festival. This is a very prestigious opportunity and incredibly thrilling for those productions that are invited. It was with great joy and gratitude that NW’s “Life is a Dream” was one of those invited productions.
So, with the so called “Dream Team” reconvening, the grand majority of the theatre department loaded up two U-Hauls, four vans and made their way to Des Moines, IA where KCACTF Region 5 was held this year.
On their assigned performance day, the cast, crew, and faculty had twelve hours in the Hoyt Sherman theatre in Des Moines to reassemble the set, rehearse, perform and take down the set once more. On paper it sounds simple, but the team no doubt found challenges along the way. Run crew member, Talea Errington, recounted some of her jobs on that day: “Us three run crew (Errington, Anna Bram, and Loryn Schultz) had the responsibility of measuring and marking out the stage with chalk to show where the set should go. Then we helped assemble the set… and set the props”.
Finally, the moment that the entire department had been anticipating arose, and it was time to perform “Life is a Dream” once again. During the performance, the cast and crew received a fantastic audience of about one thousand, who thoroughly brought the energy to the theatre. “It was really fun to watch the show through the audience’s perspective and see and hear their responses”, says Errington.
After a final, successful performance, the Life is a Dream cast, as well as other members of the department will return from Des Moines with a undeniably wonderful KCACTF experience under their belts, and one last trip through this production to cherish.