• Alexandria Bagwell

The Whirlwind of KCACTF

Updated: Feb 24

I had the immense honor of attending KCACTF Region IV as a designer, Irene Ryan nominee, and MTI auditionee. And if you're not in the collegiate theatre world, those acronyms mean absolutely nothing to you! If for no one else than for my Nana, I'll explain below what this whirlwind of a week entailed.

What is KCACTF?

KCACTF stands for Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, and it aims to celebrate the work of college theatre artists in undergrad and graduate studies. It's an incredible place to network, take workshops, and interact with like-minded creatives! I saw three collegiate productions that challenged me. I met some of the most incredible people! Oh and I got scouted by a dream grad school, if I choose to take that route.

Irene Ryans

I was nominated for my work as Carmen Bernstein in Curtains and got to compete in the regional Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships competition with my incredible partner Cory Simmons. Our package included "Move On" from Sunday in the Park with George, a monologue called "A Muses Woes" by Bree Green, and an intimate scene from Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke. We received excellent feedback from the respondents. One of the highlights of the trip was down time in the room where we all watched The Beverly Hillbillies in honor of "Granny" Irene Ryan, the competition's foundation and namesake.


The Musical Theatre Initiative portion of the competition was brief but so much fun! I auditioned with a 32 bar cut of "Stranger to the Rain" from Children of Eden. Broadway star and guest judge Hunter Ryan Herdlicka complimented me and said, "I thought your performance was so incredible!"

Design Technology and Management

Last but certainly not least (as it took many, many late nights of prep), I presented my costume design for The Great Gatsby at the Design Technology and Management Expo. Like an adult version of a science fair, I mounted two poster boards of my renderings, displayed a dress that inspired my work, and shared the dress lists and costume plot for the show in a binder. I had 8 minutes with the judges to explain my design concept and answer their questions. Their feedback and encouragement meant the world to me. My favorite moment of the festival was when one of the judges said, "You're just so happy!!" Their observation couldn't have been more correct. No matter what else is going on in my personal life, I am happiest when I'm immersed in theatre. I create because He creates. I'm so honored I had the opportunity to share my art, create alongside other theatre practitioners in workshops, and listen to the beautiful stories of others.


© 2020 by Alexandria Bagwell