Frequently Asked Questions
Updated April 17, 2016
If you're considering participating in KCACTF for the first time—or if you've been away for a while—here are the answers to our most frequently asked questions!
Q. Why should I participate?
A. KCACTF focuses on the art of production: acting, directing, design, playwriting, criticism, dramaturgy, and stage management. The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival is the largest organization of its kind dedicated to encouraging, recognizing and celebrating the finest and most diverse work produced in university and college theater programs. KCACTF is a student-centered festival. Students from programs large and small, private and public , meet for five days each year to view touring productions selected from among the best in the region, participate in a variety of workshops, compete for scholarships and other professional opportunities in a variety of categories—and have their talents and skills tested against a much broader sample of student work than is available in any single institution. Distinguished professionals respond to work brought to the festival site. KCACTF provides faculty with a host of opportunities for professional development and networking.
Q. How do I enter?
A. The process begins by entering one or more of your institution's productions in the festival. Registration forms can be found at the national website.
Q. What happens once I register?
A. Registration makes faculty and students from your institution eligible to participate in all aspects of KCACTF, including design, playwriting, directing, stage management, critics' competitions, and dramaturgy opportunities. Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Audition nominees may be named from each entered production and continue to the regional festival.
Q. What is the difference between an associate entry and a participating one?
A. In both cases, a faculty colleague will attend a performance of your entered production at your theatre and conduct a response session with your company following the performance. The director will be provided with a written response to the work, a copy of which will be forwarded to the regional chair or co-chairs. The response may be accompanied by nominations for awards, including the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Auditions as well as design, stage management and/or merit awards and the National Playwriting Program awards when appropriate. A participating production is one which the home institution is interested in having considered for tour to the regional festival. Two members of the regional Executive Committee will conduct the on-site response session and will take their observations to the Regional Selection Team Meeting which is held during the first week of December. A National Selection Team visits all 8 regional festivals and selects a slate of plays from regional offerings to be presented at the Kennedy Center in April. An associate production is not eligible for tour to the festival, though the institution is eligible for all other awards. One member of the regional faculty will conduct the on-site response session.
Q. What happens if my production is selected for inclusion in the regional festival?
A. If selected, the production must be designed to tour to the festival site during the designated time frame. A set-up time of four hours is allotted, with a one-hour strike immediately following the performance. The home school bears all costs of touring at the regional level.
Q. What if my Irene Ryan Audition is selected for the final round of the Scholarship Auditions? Do I need to pay royalties?
A. You can find more information regarding royalties under "Actors".
Q. How can I become personally involved at the regional level?
A. Contact your Regional Co-Chairs and express your interest. Our greatest need is for qualified and willing respondents for associate entries in the region. Respondent training sessions are available each year at the regional festival, and occasionally within your home state. Contact your state chair for information on this option. Encourage students in your program to enter design work and new scripts in the design and playwriting competitions. Make students aware of the Critics' Institute, Dramaturgy, Directing, and Stage Management opportunities. For contact information about the chairs of these programs, see the Executive Committee roster links on this website.