The University of Michigan-Flint Theatre Department has been invited to the Regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival to be held at Saginaw State University in early January. The department has been invited to present its production of How I Learned to Drive that was staged during November on January 10, at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. The play by Paula Vogel was directed by Carolyn Gillespie.
“We are so pleased to have DRIVE invited to the Festival,” said Gillespie. “The play delivers a powerful message about child sexual abuse that needs to be heard.”
Each year over 900 colleges and universities from across the United States enter shows with the hope of being invited. In Region three, approximately 150 shows are entered each year and 6-7 shows are invited to the festival.
“This is a tremendous endorsement of our program,” said Theatre Department Chair Lauren Friesen. “This is like the NCAA tournament for theatre programs. And, having sat in on many selection teams during the past years, I know they save the “best for last” which means that by scheduling this show for Saturday, this can be seen as a strong endorsement for this show.”
Started in 1969 by Roger L. Stevens, the Kennedy Center’s founding chairman, the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide which has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of collegetheater in the United States. The KCACTF 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.
In addition to performances, there are a wide range of activities that in the past have included workshops and seminars on such topics as playwriting, auditioning, voice, movement, stage combat, theater for children, scene painting, scenery construction, and so on.