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Your University, Your News, Your Life

The Mustang Buzz

Your University, Your News, Your Life

The Mustang Buzz

SMSU Students Travel to Regional Theatre Festival

SMSU Student Priscilla Mehr and Bernyse Leach attended this festival.

Nine SMSU students participated in Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, Jan. 16-21, in Des Moines, a theater festival designed to cultivate and encourage the theatrical skills and talents of college students. 

There were many events offered for students with a variety of interests and talents. Acting, dancing, writing, and singing workshops were available. Students reflected on their goals and interests in theatre in group settings.  

Priscilla Mehur, a SMSU student who attended the festival stated, “It was a lot of fun. It vastly improved my knowledge about how resumes and portfolios are supposed to look and appear, according to casting directors. We got so much insight from all our attended workshops, and I plan to apply all my knowledge learned in these sessions in my future theatre career. All of the plays were absolutely phenomenal and made me love what I do even more.” 

Students could submit their work for competitions in costume, scenery, sound, and lighting design. Expositions showed off student work from the Midwest region. 

Participants learned how to create mission statements and examine their values. They were also reminded that everyone has their own unique abilities and were encouraged to use them. This was a fantastic opportunity for students to develop and hone their existing skills. 

Practicing safe use of theatrical firearms, interpreting Shakespearean works, and learning about the careers available in theatre. They also participated in intensive workshops that focused on specific skills. Students learned about puppet theatre and how to write resumes. 

From professional performances to student showcase pieces, the festival was full of creativity and entertainment. There were a few major shows performed. The first one was “Remember the Dance”, a play that told its story mostly through dance rather than words. 

Attracting over 1,500 people, the production “Percy Jackson: Lightning Thief, the musical”, was a big hit with the audience.  

Following this musical, a play “Thoughts of a Colored Man”. addressed the struggles, discrimination and challenges that black people have had to overcome in a somewhat comedic, but serious manner.   

Reaching all areas of theatrical drama, a drag show had the audience cheering.  

Students from the Midwest Region were invited to submit their work and compete through a series of auditions to win awards.  

The submissions were not limited to just singing, dancing, and acting. Playwriting, scene design, sound and lighting were also included.  There were many shows performed that were written and performed by students.  

Students auditioned for a chance win awards and scholarships and to represent Region 5 at the Nationals competition in Washington, D.C. 

SMSU theatre students said the festival was a great way to work on skills and receive valuable feedback from professionals and peers.  

This festival occurs every January in Des Moines. 

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About the Contributor
Bernyse Leach
Bernyse Leach, Copy Editor
My name is Bernyse Leach. I am a freshman here at SMSU, studying Professional WritingI grew up just outside of Marshall, near Vesta. I am the copy editor for the Mustang BuzzI also spend a lot of time working in the theatre department. I participate in shows through production or stage crew Some of my hobbies include writing, going to the park, playing outdoor games, and learning about different cultures through international students. I spend a lot of time with international students. 

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