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Carthage Theatre has strong showing at regional theatre festival


Martin McClendon

February 23, 2014

For the fifth consecutive year, the Carthage Theatre Department was invited to present a full production of a new play at the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Regional Festival Jan. 7-11, and several Carthage students and faculty received recognition at the festival for excellence in collegiate theater.

KCACTF is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide, which has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college theater in the United States. The Region III festival honors college theater programs in the states of Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. The 46th annual Region III festival was Jan. 7-11 at Saginaw Valley State University in Saginaw, Mich. 

Carthage New Play Initiative serves up another winner

The Carthage production of A Clamour of Rooks was one of six productions selected as a featured Festival Production. A Clamour of Rooks was developed as part of Carthage’s New Play Initiative. It was developed by theatre professor Neil Scharnick and Carthage students, in collaboration with Irish playwright Martin Maguire and Patrick Sutton, head of the Gaiety National Theatre School of Ireland. A Clamour of Rooks received its world premiere in Dublin, Ireland, last January, before coming back to Carthage in February 2013. Read more about this production and how it came to be.

Senior wins One-Act Play Festival

Mikaley Osley ’14, a double-major in theatre and English, won KCACTF’s One-Act Play Festival with her play “Matilda’s Characters.” The play was chosen from a field of more than 80 submissions.

Mikaley also presented “The Cure to Writer’s Block: Good Company and Chinese Food” in the 10-minute play category. This is the third time in four years that Mikaley has been honored and selected to have her work at the festival — a feat even more impressive considering that many of the competing playwrights are graduate students or come from larger programs with majors in playwriting. She was also the only student at the festival with plays selected from both categories. 

More individual honors

Four Carthage students and one professor were also honored with regional certificates of merit:

Kelly Field ’15 — Stage Management, Stars in the Morning Sky
Jack Lambert ’15 — Musical Arrangements, As You Like It
Courtney Matula ’14 — Costume Design, Stars in the Morning Sky
Mikaley Osley ’14 — Stage Management, A Clamour of Rooks
Prof. Neil Scharnick — Directing, A Clamour of Rooks

In addition, eight students competed in the Irene Ryan Acting Competition with Brea Beelow ’13 and Andrew Statcurski ’14 moving onto the finals.

Heading to the festival is something of a tradition for the department. Over the past eight years, the department has earned an increasing amount of KCACTF awards and honors, including achieving the festival’s highest honor of sending a full production for five consecutive years.