Gannon University’s Schuster Theater Student Production Team Wins Award

Posted: January 19, 2016

he Gannon University student production team of "Stage Fright: Play Fest of Fear" was selected for a Kennedy Center/American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) Certificate of Merit. The show, which comprises five short plays, was a production of Gannon University's honorary theatre fraternity, Alpha Psi Omega.

"Stage Fright: Play Fest of Fear" advanced to the Region II KCACTF for a production at West Chester University January 12-17, where three of the plays were featured in the Festival Fringe.

The plays are "Remaining," directed by Megan Hamm; "The Statistic," directed by Jenna Sulecki" and "True Love," directed by Zak Westfall. Each play was written by junior theatre major Michael Haas, and is about 10 minutes long.

Thirteen students  traveled to the festival with Alaina Manchester, visiting professor of acting and Jacki Vadney, Schuster Theatre technical director/design professor

The production was the latest in the annual "Stage Fright: Haunted Theatre" series of plays mounted at the Schuster Theatre in October. The collection was, in the words of its student production team, "a celebration of all things ghoulish and ghostly with student written/directed plays with macabre and frightening themes and performances."

Speaking for his fellow District 2 jurors, John Gresh, KCACTF vice chair: Co-National Playwriting Program, stated, "This program was student-produced, directed, designed and acted. We thought that was admirable and a great learning experience."

Additionally, performers Chase Miles, a junior theatre/communication arts major, and Kendra Walker, a first-year business administration major, were nominated for excellence in performance and invited to participate in the Irene Ryan Regional Acting Competition at the festival. Zach Hyman, a sophomore theatre/communication arts major, was named as an alternate.

Started in 1969, the Kennedy Center American College Theater is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide. The festival has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college theater in the United States and has grown into a network of more than 600 academic institutions throughout the country, where theater departments and student artists showcase their work and receive outside assessment by KCACTF respondents.