CWU News

CWU Students Selected for Prestigious KCACTF Presentations

Sixty-eight Central Washington University Theatre Arts students will participate in the 2017 Region 7 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF), February 20-24 in Denver. Five CWU theatre faculty accompanying the students will also present scholarships and lend their skills in organizing the annual festival.


“This may be the largest group of students from one school attending the festival,” exclaimed Patrick Dizney, CWU professor of performance. Dizney is also the current chair of Region 7, which includes Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, northern California, northern Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.


“This year, on top of the regular participation, we received an invitation to present in the Night of Scenes,” enthused Scott Robinson, chair of Theatre Arts and two-time recipient of the coveted KCACTF Gold Medallion Award. “The scene is from CWU's 2016 production of Mary Poppins, “The Banker Scene,” which will feature more than 30 students in a stunning and imaginative tap number. Jadd Davis, artistic director from the Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre, recognized the exceptional interpretation of the scene and nominated for it inclusion last May.”


KCACTF allows members from other institutions, called outside guest responders, to nominate outstanding performances for inclusion in the festival.


“It is rare to have the opportunity to showcase our musical theatre productions as they simply are too large to travel efficiently,” Robinson continued. “This is an excellent opportunity for us to demonstrate the strength of our distinctive BFA program as well as individual students.”


Actors, designers, theatre technicians and stage managers will compete for scholarships, summer employment, graduate programs and unique training opportunities through auditions, interviews and competitions.  Student Chelsey Sheppard will lead workshops in Stage Combat and Stage Dance.  Student director Allison Price is bringing her production of Gruesome Playground Injuries to be performed at festival as a “renegade production.” The production was initially mounted at CWU in November 2016.


Dizney will perform in a scripted reading of a new play commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival at festival.  CWU Lecturer Casey Craig will be leading workshops Stage Dance.


CWU also registered the production of She Kills Monsters for inclusion in the festival. Although It was not selected to travel this year, it was named first alternate, if one of the other selections cannot be performed.

CWU usually takes 50 students to the festival, who participate and vie for scholarships in a variety of disciplines, including performance, research, directing and design and production.  Each year winners from these areas move forward to a national festival.  CWU has sent students to the national festival at least 12 times in the past 15 years.

The Region 7 festival includes performances by top performers and participating productions selected by a highly competitive and rigorous process.

Started in 1969 by Roger L. Stevens, the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival is a national theater program involving 20,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide annually. The KCACTF honors excellence of overall production and offers student artists individual recognition through awards and scholarships in playwriting, acting, dramatic criticism, directing, and design. For more information about KCACTF-7 go to

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,
February 16, 2017