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Feb. 14, 2019

Theatre students, faculty earn recognition at regional festival


Northwest Missouri State University students and faculty earned high marks at the annual Region 5 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF), including nine commendations for their work in direction, design and performance.

Twenty-five Northwest students attended the festival Jan. 20-26 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where more than 1,500 college students from throughout the region share their work, attend workshops and develop theatre skills. 

Assistant Professor of Theatre Katheryn Bilbo, who serves as dramaturgy associate coordinator for KCACTF Region V, and Professor of Theatre Pat Immel, who serves as the festival’s stage crew showdown coordinator, led the University’s festival contingent.

Northwest’s participation in the festival, which is funded in part by the Department of Fine and Performing Arts and the College of Arts and Sciences, is an important profession-based activity for students.

“It is a key component in supplementing their education at Northwest and provides opportunities for professional work and contacts,” Bilbo said. “We have students every year who are offered apprenticeships or professional work by auditioning and interviewing for the theatre companies who come to the festival. This helps ensure our graduates will be career-ready, day one upon graduation, and many graduate with job offers in hand.”

The honors for Northwest students and faculty are listed below.

  • Achievement in Costume Design and Construction: Stephanie M. Jorandby, Jessi Rigdon and Ashton Badenell for “Footloose: The Musical”
  • Achievement in Scenic Design and Construction: Patrick Immel, Shawn Murphy, Isabelle Adcock and Josh Munden for “Footloose: The Musical”
  • Achievement in Ensemble Performance: The cast of “Love/Sick”
  • Achievement in Stage Management: Emma Tim Aldrich for “Love/Sick”
  • Achievement in Directing: Wendy King for “Same Time, Next Year”
  • Achievement in Costume Design: Anna Kempf for “Same Time, Next Year”
  • Achievement in Properties Design: Shawn Murphy for “Still Life with Iris”
  • Achievement in Directing: Katheryn Bilbo for “Still Life with Iris”

Northwest students presented more than 35 projects in a variety of areas, including acting, design, playwriting, directing, and theater technology.

Students have opportunities to compete for scholarships and internships as well as audition and interview for professional work at the festival. In the prestigious Irene Ryan scholarship competition, Northwest students Abbey Southworth and Cameron Daniel advanced from a pool of over 350 nominees and were among 58 students to compete in the semifinal round.

Taylor Holley also received an award for outstanding direction of a 10-minute play during closing night ceremonies.

The annual festival gives Northwest students opportunities to network with theatre students, instructors, and professional artists from throughout the country while gaining unbiased feedback of their performances and designs. Students are chosen to compete and participate in events at the festival based on application materials they submit during a competitive selection process.

In addition to presenting work and competing, festival participants have opportunities to participate in intensive half- and full-day classes, attend workshops taught by theatre faculty and professionals from throughout the region as well as audition and interview for summer theatre work at professional venues throughout the region. Students view invited productions presented by peer institutions and have their performances and designs critiqued by theatre professionals.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468