Throughout the unexpected shift from live performances in front of an audience to virtual shows, the SFCC drama department has always honored the adage “The show must go on.” The Spartan Theatre continues to share the joy of theater, and their hard work has earned numerous awards and accolades.
The cast of Spartan Theatre's recent production FireDance is being honored this week as a regional finalist at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF), Region VII. This is the second year in a row the student-filled theater troupe has been named a finalist and considered for national awards. The production of Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus recently received awards from the KCACTF National Committee for Collaboration, Costume Design, Graphic Design, Acting and Sound Design. This year, FireDance is one of only six shows from around the region invited to perform.
KCACTF is a national theater program involving over 18,000 students annually from colleges and universities across the country. The festival recognizes and celebrates college theater programs and provides opportunities for participants to develop their dramatic skills and make new connections in the industry. The cast of FireDance – in addition to SFCC Drama advisor Ashley DeMoville and instructor Chris Hansen – will take part in the remote festival from February 14 – 19, attending interactive workshop opportunities such as Dramaturgy and Design, Technology, & Management.
Student Jaz Vega is a semi-finalist for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Competition, the biggest competition at the festival. This is her second year as a semi-finalist.
“With our world being online and virtual for the most part, I'm really looking forward to participating in activities with peers in my region. It's been so hard to feel connected with people these past couple of years, and KCACTF is one of those things I look forward to because it makes me feel connected,” Vega said. “I'm also really looking forward to gaining a better understanding and experiencing theater with like-minded peers who are just as passionate as I am about our craft.”
For a program that typically centers around live performance and audience interaction, it's fair to say the last two years have been uniquely challenging for our theater students.
“Besides the psychological toll that everyone is experiencing, we are all approval junkies,” said student Scott Lind, who played the father in FireDance. “I (especially) need to be around people to feel validated. Zoom doesn’t cut it.”
Still, the group has found comfort and creative expression with each other. KCACTF offers another fantastic opportunity for the Spartan Theatre to reach a broader audience and showcase their skills at a premier theatrical venue.
“Everyone in this program is overflowing with charisma and talent. I love being around so much creativity day after day,” Lind said. “I couldn’t be more grateful for Ashley DeMoville and Chris Hansen. They are outstanding leaders with endless patience and knowledge.”