By Kathleen Murphy
In February 2019, Centre College’s drama program will send five students to the regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Selected from the recent production of Twelfth Night, these students will have the chance to compete with their peers across the region in Spartanburg, South Carolina, next spring semester.
Together, a representative from the festival and Assistant Professor of Dramatic Arts Jennifer Goff nominated two students, Katherine Moeykens ’19 and Brennen Amonett ‘19, to compete in the acting portion of the festival for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship. The representative also selected three students—Jonathan Hunt ‘18, Allison Wheeler ’21 and Matthew Curtis ’18—to compete in the technical portion of the competition.
During the festival, the two student actors will work with a partner to perform scenes and monologues with Goff’s guidance. Based on their work, they may advance through the three rounds of the regional festival and on to the national festival in Washington, D.C.
Additionally, those nominated for the technical competition will display their work at the festival, discuss their process with festival representatives and receive feedback on their presentation.
“This competition presents the opportunity on a regional and national level for students to compete more than they do here, which is exciting,” Goff remarks.
She also adds that the students will bring unique qualities they gained from their time at Centre to this competition, many of which shined brightly at the recent performance of Twelfth Night.
“On the technical side, there was a lot of collaboration and creativity and a willingness to not know what the answer will be. That’s a very ‘Centre quality,’” Goff says.
“The stage manager also brought the work professionally as part of a Centre internship,” she continues, “The actors brought a lot of creativity and humanity. They gave us lovely and well-formed characters.”
When the festival takes place, Goff has confidence that each of the students will grow in their abilities and gain much from interacting with other thespians.
“I’m a big believer in not being the most talented in the room so you can learn things. This is a great opportunity for them to be inspired by all the different levels of skills present,” she explains.
“The competition also recognizes the work being done here and to be part of our regional and national community,” she concludes.