HSU Does it Again! Student Heads to National Theater Arts Competition in D.C.

For the fifth consecutive year, an HSU Theatre Arts student is heading to Washington, D.C. for a prestigious theater competition.

Roman Sanchez will compete in a leadership category against seven other students from around the country in the 49th annual Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) next month.

Thousands of student artists from eight regions nationwide submitted their work for consideration. Representing Region VII, Sanchez is among the 125 students chosen to travel to Washington, D.C. to participate in the Kennedy Center event.

He advances after winning the ASPIRE Leadership Initiative category in the recent KCACTF contest for Region VII. The category asks students to demonstrate their theater management skills by pitching their ideas for a new theater company.

Sanchez joined about 36 HSU students in Spokane, Washington for the regional event, which gave students the opportunity to participate in workshops; exhibit their work; audition or interview for employment and graduate school opportunities; network with industry professionals; and connect with theater-makers from other universities and colleges.

An HSU student has competed in the national KCACTF for the past four years: Alexander Stearns for costume design (2017); Heidi Voelker for scenery design (2016); Marissa Menezes for costume design (2015); and Caitlin Volz for stage management (2014).

Derek Lane, an instructor for the Department of Theatre, Film & Dance, says HSU students make a particularly strong showing in design at KCACTF. That’s because HSU’s program gives students the chance to do actual, realized designs.

HSU has a reputation for giving them real experience designing mainstage productions and mentoring our undergraduate students,” says Lane.

Other HSU students made a strong showing in Region 7 competitions:
• Liz Whittemore and Ayanna Wilson: finalists in the KCACTF Musical Theatre Initiative category.
• Amy Beltrán and Isaiah Alexander, and scene partners Victor Parra and Shawn Wagner: semi-finalists in the Irene Ryan Acting Competition. Beltrán and Parra advanced to the final round.
• Valerie Ramirez: Meritorious Achievement Award for her “Properties Design of Avenue Q.”
• Isabella Ceja: Meritorious Achievement Award for her Costume Design of “Julius Caesar.” Ceja was also the Regional Champion in Costume Design for her work on a dance piece “Instilled Text and Subtext,” as part of the HSU Spring Dance Concert.
• Marissa Sanchez and Roman Sanchez: Regional and National Achievement Awards through the League of Regional Theatres ASPIRE Leadership Fellows Program.
• Margarita Liberto, Angie Negrete, and Roman Sanchez: special Collaboration Award for their work on “Real Women Have Curves.”

About the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival
Started in 1969 by Roger L. Stevens, the Kennedy Center’s founding chairman, the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) is a national theater program involving 20,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide annually. For 47 years, the organization has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college theater in the United States. KCACTF has grown into a network of more than 700 academic institutions throughout the country.