Theater students to leave for ACTF Feb. 26

Kameron Schmid and Kameron Schmid

A delegation of American River College theater students and faculty members will be leaving for Washington next Monday to take part in the annual Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

The ACTF is first split into a regional level before going to a national level. ARC is part of Region 7, along with other colleges, both two-year and four-year, from Northern California, Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Northern Nevada, Wyoming and Idaho.

Every ACTF conference has a variety of events over it’s week-long span, including workshops, contests, auditions, and performed pieces from 10-minute scenes to full plays.

ARC students who have been nominated for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship will compete with other nominees from Region 7 to move on and compete at a national level. Nominated actors who move on to nationals receive a $500 scholarship, as do runner-ups.

Juliana Nassr, one such nominee and a film major, worked as a volunteer when ARC hosted ACTF in Spring 2013, and will now compete as a representative of ARC.

“I really was only going to go if I had a reason, and being nominated is a high honor,” said Nassr, who was nominated for her role as Inga in Young Frankenstein.

“You’re able to show your craft to other people, as well as to be critiqued on it.”

The Irene Ryan competition is made up of three rounds, preliminary, semifinal and final. Each nominee will have to show proficiency in multiple acting disciplines to advance.

Nominees can choose to incorporate singing in every round, or only act.

Annelies Veldman, a fellow cast member from Frankenstein, is going with ARC’s group to perform in a scene from the play that was nominated for a competition, and also as a partner for Irene Ryan nominee Wilysha Walton.

In addition to those plans, Veldman hopes to go to as many workshops as possible, and also audition in the Next Step auditions, a program that brings in professional theater companies to be auditioned for, and also adds on an interview phase as well.

From the ACTF website, “Jobs, internships, summer work, four-year schools and graduate programs will be represented at the auditions and interviews.”

Said Veldman of her audition piece for Next Step, “I’ll be doing a monologue because I can’t sing.”