Theatre Students Put on a Show at Virtual Region 8 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

Twenty-four CSUN students, four recently graduated alumni, and associate professor of Theatre Matthew Jackson recently participated in the Region VIII Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, which was held virtually Feb. 10-13. Students competed in the areas of acting, stage management, directing, and theatre journalism and advocacy.

Undergraduates Megan Milo, Jonathan Thompson and Karo Dzhgalian each moved on to the semifinal round of the Irene Ryan Acting Competition, a round of 62 out of hundreds of regional competitors.

Senior Kelli Tays and Kevin van der Veen ’20 progressed to the semifinal round in the Stage Management Competition. Sohrob Keynejad ’20 was announced as a semifinalist in the Directing Competition.

Tays also received the Ghost Light Award in the Stage Management Competition, an award that “goes to the stage management student who most embodies the ghost light: a symbol in our theatre community that represents the creation of a safe space. The person receiving this award served as a light for their team, encouraging inclusion, participation, and compassion for all,” according to the KCACTF Region VIII website.

Tays called the festival a wonderful experience.

“It has given me the tools to work closely with other stage managers and absorb information that has helped with my growth within this field,” she said. “I am very thankful for being able to be part of this festival and this year take home an award that speaks volumes of my character.”

A scene from the CSUN Department of Theatre’s production of the musical Pippin was presented as part of the Evening of Invited Scenes. Just a handful of shows are chosen from around the region each year for this event.

Thompson also received a $1,500 scholarship to CSU Summer Arts based on his strong acting work, and sophomore Darian Calderon received the Outstanding Actor Award for his work in the National Playwriting Program performance at the festival.

Graduate student Scott Kriloff received the Institute for Theatre Journalism and Advocacy Regional Award. He also was chosen as a National Alternate in Sound Design for his work at Pierce College.