This past January, 17 students from St. Louis Community College-Meramec’s Theatre Club traveled to Sioux Falls, S.D., for the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival’s (KCACTF) Region V event.
KCACTF is an annual festival offering competitions and workshops for theater students of varying levels, ranging from freshmen to graduate students. Schools attend regional events based on geography. Region V includes institutions from Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.
Meramec students Evan Turek and Kyra Pearson were among the 16 finalists in the Region V Irene Ryan Acting Competition. More than 300 students participated in the competition.
“Performing for the first time in front of judges was very nerve racking,” said Pearson. “But once we were performing, it was the best feeling ever. It was so great supporting each other and performing with Evan. I have really grown as an actor through this experience, as well as gaining a great relationship with a great friend.”
Meramec students Kalen Riley and Will Griffin advanced to the semifinal round, comprised of 66 competitors.
“It was a great trip,” said Riley. “I was able to attend workshops held by professionals in their field, formed a closer relationship with my classmates, and discovered that South Dakota is the coldest place on earth.”
Other notable performances by Meramec students included Pat Ryan in the Long Form Improvisational Showcase, and Mac Kraft, Rachel DeNoyer, Beth Burton and Lexi Godefroid in the Stage Crew Showdown.
Michelle Rebollo, the faculty adviser for Theater Club, spoke of her pride for her students.
“They had a successful festival,” she said. “Not only did some of them advance to the semifinal and final round of the Irene Ryan Acting Competition, but we also celebrated our second year of competing in the Stage Crew Showdown. I’m very proud of them.”
Meramec’s theater department received regional merit commendations for the acting ensembles of the fall productions of “The Crucible” and “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”
The next production to be staged at Meramec is “Flaming Guns of the Purple Sage,” slated for April 17-21.