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CSU Hosts American College Theater Festival

Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Brings 1,200-Plus Theater Students and Faculty to CSU Arts Campus

In a crowded dance studio, Broadway director Brendan Naylor cued up the American Hustle soundtrack and coached dozens of dancers through Russian movement techniques. Around the corner, Professor Terry Dana Jachimiak II of Westminster College demonstrated the finer points of using hot glue to mold body parts for theatrical productions. And just down the hall, a packed workshop found Professor Marilouise “Mel” Michel of Clarion University sharing pointers for acting in and directing intimate scenes.

Suffice it to say there was no shortage of drama on a recent afternoon in the bustling Middough Building on the Arts Campus of Cleveland State University, which earned a selective bid to host Region II of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival from January 2 through January 6.

Presented in partnership with PlayhouseSquare, the event drew more than 1,200 theater students and faculty from across Ohio and seven other states, as well as Washington, D.C. When they weren’t honing their craft in educational sessions, attendees staged and took in a “silent opera” and seven plays at the Allen Theatre and Ohio Theatre, including a production of The Dybbuk by CSU’s Department of Theatre and Dance, directed by Professor Michael Mauldin.

The festival also included auditions for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships for outstanding student performers. CSU student Cody Kilpatrick Steele made it to the finals of the intense competition, which entailed acting out dramatic scenes and delivering a monologue.

For more details and photographs from the festival, visit CSU’s ENGAGED blog.