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Carthage Theatre earns honors at KCACTF

January 17, 2019

Carthage Theatre students and faculty returned from the Kennedy Center Region III American Theatre Festival with honors and awards for their work on theatre shows this past year.

They were invited to KCACTF to perform “Up and Away” at the festival’s main stage, the Mitby Theater, an honor awarded to a small number of institutions through peer-review invitation. This is the ninth time Carthage Theatre has been invited to perform at KCACTF in 10 years.

KCACTF is a national theater program with a network of more than 600 academic institutions, which provides opportunities for theater departments and student artists to showcase their work and compete for honors. Carthage is part of Region III, and this year’s Region III Festival took place Jan. 8-13, 2019, in Madison, Wis.

The cast of "Up and Away" at KCACTF.The cast of "Up and Away" at KCACTF.Carthage was awarded the Regional Certificate of Merit for Acting Ensemble for the cast of “Up and Away.” “Up and Away” will be eligible for national awards mid-March after the eight regions have completed their festivals. The National Festival will take place April 15-20 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and 125 student artists from the eight regions will be selected for an expenses-paid trip to participate in National Festival events.

Freshman Natalie Lall ’22, accompanied by her scene partner, freshman Emma Sorensen ’22, was a finalist for the Irene Ryan Acting Competition. The Irene Ryan Acting Competition awards scholarships to outstanding student performers who are nominated for their work in collegiate productions.

Natalie was also a finalist in the KCACTF/ LORT Aspire Leadership Intensive, which focuses on engaging and inspiring people of color, women, and members of other underrepresented groups to launch a new generation of artistic and administrative leaders for the American Theatre.

Carthage students and faculty designers were also recognized for their impressive design work. Junior Jasmine Ratliff ’20 earned a Regional Certificate of Merit for her work as the scenic charge painter for “Silent Sky,” last year’s spring play. Senior Emily Parker ’19 earned a Regional Certificate of Merit for her costume design for Carthage’s fall main-stage play, “Ajax.”

Junior Latora Lezotte ’20 was a runner up for the Allied Design and Technologies Award for her makeup design for “Into the Woods,” last year’s main-stage musical. She was also a finalist for the Theatrical Design Excellence Award for her costume design for “Up and Away,” earning a Regional Certificate of Merit for her designs.

“Into the Woods” costumes designed by Prof. Kim Instenes, modeled by crew members from “Up ...“Into the Woods” costumes designed by Prof. Kim Instenes, modeled by crew members from “Up and Away” at KCACTF 2019.Both Latora and Emily were mentored by Carthage’s exceptional costume design faculty member, Professor Kimberly Instenes. Prof. Instenes created the Costume Design Program, teaching the courses and designing costumes for Carthage’s main-stage productions. Prof. Instenes received a Regional Certificate of Merit for her designs for “Into the Woods, and was invited to exhibit her costumes from “Into the Woods” in the opening ceremony Costume Parade, an annual KCACTF event which recognizes the exceptional creativity of outstanding costume designers.

Professor Neil Scharnick earned a Regional Certificate of Merit for directing “Into the Woods” and Professor Martin McClendon received a Regional Certificate of Merit for Scenic Design for “Into the Woods.”

Congratulations to Carthage Theatre and its extraordinary artists!