PVCC Theatre Students Make Their Mark at National Festival

Monday, March 4, 2024
PVCC Theatre Students Make Their Mark at National Festival

In a testament to their talents and dedication, Paradise Valley Community College’s theater students rose to the occasion while competing in this year’s Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Southern California. PVCC Faculty Andrea Robertson and Technical Director Ryan Wentzel accompanied 11 of PVCC’s students, all of whom were nominated for this year’s 2023/2024 theatre season. Actors are nominated by respondents attending PVCC’s productions for the Irene Ryan competition, while directors, designers, and stage managers apply to compete at the festival in their chosen area. 

“We had a great time,” Robertson shared. “The students were invited to attend plays and musicals, workshops on various theater topics, and rehearsals to work on their own individual competitions. I couldn’t be prouder of all of them.”

KCACTF is a national theater program involving thousands of students annually from colleges and universities across the country. The organization hosts eight regional festivals annually honoring excellence in overall production, as well as individual recognition in arts leadership, design, technology, and management; directing; dramaturgy; performance; playwriting; theatre journalism and advocacy; and theatre research and scholarship. 

With more than 100 actors auditioning at the Region 8 festival, PVCC students Noah Hines and MacKenzie Schmid were cast in the New Playwrights competition: Hines in a one-act play and Schmid in a 10-minute play. 

“Being cast was a great experience because it gave me the chance to collaborate with other actors, directors, dramaturgs, etc. The whole process was great for meeting new people and making lasting connections,” said Schmid.

Additional accolades include:

  • Lex Barker – finalist/ Directing
  • Olivia Terry – Heart of the Art award/Lighting Design for Shakespeare in Love

“My favorite activity was watching the performances, including the invited pieces and the student one acts,” Terry said. “I really enjoyed watching my peers succeed, have fun, and perform. The performances were not only entertaining but also encouraging as I felt surrounded by like minded people and could see myself in my peers' hard work.”

If you are interested in pursuing a career in theater or would simply like to perform or work backstage, find out more by visiting our website