The Central Texas College (CTC) Fine Arts department announced recently four students from its fall drama production, “Water by the Spoonful,” have been selected to attend the regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) February 28 to March 3 at San Angelo State University. Representing CTC are Channing Bell, Angelica Concepcion, Terrence Moon and Zachary Verdugo. They will participate with thousands of students from regional colleges and four-year universities in Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma nominated by festival representatives based on recent school productions.

Regional festival productions are judged by a panel of three judges who in consultation with the KCACTF artistic director select four to six of the best and most diverse regional festival productions to be showcased in the spring at the annual noncompetitive national festival to be held at the JFK Performing Arts Center in Washington, D.C. later this spring.

The four CTC actors were part of the cast of last semester’s drama production of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Water by the Spoonful.” The play depicts the everyday struggles of several people tied together - some by family, others through their addictions. Bell played the main character, Elliot Ortiz, a young Iraq War veteran dealing with a terminally ill parent, a nowhere job at a sandwich shop and a burgeoning career in modeling - all intensified by recurring memories and ghostly hallucinations of a man he killed during the war. Verdugo played the role of Professor Aman, while Moon was the character Chutes&Ladders and Concepcion played the role of Haikumom.

Bell and Moon were selected as nominees for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships which provide recognition, honor and financial assistance to outstanding student performers wishing to pursue further education. Verdugo and Concepcion will serve as scene partners. The Irene Ryan Foundation awards 16 regional and two national scholarships annually. Sixteen of the awards consist of a $500 scholarship for each regional representative.

With funding and administrative support from the Kennedy Center, the regional festivals showcase the finest of each region’s entered productions including new and student-written plays. In addition to the acting and playwriting competitions, CTC students will also attend workshops on performance, movement, stage combat and voice as well as attending numerous productions and original works from around the nation.

The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide which has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college-based theater in the United States. It has grown into a network of more than 600 academic institutions throughout the country, where theater departments and student artists showcase their work and receive outside assessment by KCACTF respondents.

The goal of KCACTF is  to encourage, recognize and celebrate the finest and most diverse work produced in university and college theater programs; provide opportunities for participants to develop their theater skills, insight and achieve professionalism; to improve the quality of college and university theater in America; and to encourage colleges and universities to give distinguished productions of new plays, especially those written by students; the classics, revitalized or newly conceived; and experimental works.

Photo: CTC drama students (left to right) Zachary Verdugo, Terrence Moon, Channing Bell and Angelica Concepcion will participate in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) at the end of February.