Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

Actors performing in the play titled The Exonerated

Machinal, Distinguished Director of a play (KCACTF National 2015)

What is KCACTF?

Sam Houston State University's Theatre Department has participated in Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival since 2001. It has been a rewarding experience resulting in much growth for the students and faculty involved.

KCACTF offers exciting opportunities for the Department to develop the Theatre and Musical Theatre programs. Students are given an opportunity to meet students from all over the U.S. and well known theatre professionals.

In January and February of each year, regional festivals showcase the finest of each region's participating productions and offer a variety of workshops, symposia, and regional-level award programs. Four to six of the best and most diverse regional festival productions are selected by the National Selection Committee to be showcased in the spring at the annual non-competitive national festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., all expenses paid.

Visit the KCACTF websites to learn more about the program.

KCACTF National  KCACTF Region VI

SHSU Theatre KCACTF Awards

State Festival 2015 and Regional Festival 2016**
  • Participating Production The Lonesome West**
  • Outstanding Director of a Play-Kevin Crouch, The Lonesome West
  • Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Play-Blake Jackson, The Lonesome West
  • Outstanding Production of a Play-The Lonesome West
  • Outstanding Costume Design-Shelly Newcombe, The Lonesome West
  • Irene Ryan Semi Finalists Blake Jackson, Maggie Ellison, Channing Horton, Machenzie Haffey, Zachary Willis, Taylor Beyer, Savannah Lee
  • Distinguished Choreography for a play-Jonathan Charles-Enron
  • Irene Ryan Nominees Mason Butler, Brandon Whitley, Thomas Williams, Clint Copeland, Andrew Carson, Blake Jackson, Ryay Smith, Chris Preslar, Jake Spadie, Ashten Lane, Vika Kareva, Connor Lyon, Taylor Beyer, Savannah Lee
  • Irene Ryan Finalists Maggie Ellison, Channing Horton, Machenzie Haffey, Zachary Willis
  • MTI Finalists Nick Cuellar,Anna Drake, Blake Jackson, Taylor Siebeneicher, Bryan Okoro
  • Irene Ryan Nominees- Gabby Greer, Aaron Ruiz, Orlando
  • Lexie Jackson, Raphael Bailey, Cardenio
  • MTI- Adrian Lopez, Cardenio
  • Meritorious Award- Catie Blencowe, Lighting design, Cardenio
  • Stage Management-Morgann Spann, Cardenio
  • Entire cast for Ensemble Work, Cardenio
State Festival 2014 and Regional Festival 2015**
  • Participating Production Machinal**
  • Production Awards
  • Distinguished Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role-Shanae'a Moore
  • Distinguished Direction of a Play David McTier
  • Distinguished Lighting Design-Eric Marsh
  • Special Achievement in Film and Projection Design-Connor Toups and Liz Freese
  • Distinguished Choreography for a play-Jonathan Charles-Enron
  • Irene Ryan Nominees Mason Butler, Brandon Whitley, Thomas Williams, Clint Copeland, Andrew Carson, Blake Jackson, Ryay Smith, Chris Preslar, Jake Spadie, Ashten Lane, Vika Kareva, Connor Lyon, Taylor Beyer, Shanae'a Moore, Tanith Albright, Anna Drake
  • MTI Nominees Connor Lyon,Shanae'a Moore, Bryan Okoro,Brandon Whitley, Maryann Williams
  • DTM Ryan Brazil-National Finalist for Sound Design-Machinal
  • Student Directors-Peter Ton, Lex Lass
State Festival 2013 and Regional Festival 2014
  • Participating Production Dying For It
  • Production Awards
  • Distinguished Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role-Victoria Villareal-Spring Awakening
  • Distinguished Direction of a Musical-Greg Graham-Spring Awakening
  • Distinguished Choreography of a Musical-Greg Graham-Spring Awakening
  • Distinguished Choreography for a play-Jonathan Charles-Enron
  • Irene Ryan Nominees Clifton Adams, Grant Brown, Andrew Carson, Nick Cuellar, LaToya Curtis, Adriana Dominguez, Danny Dyer,Allen Huges,Tyler Martin, Katie Porterfield, Daniel Rosales, Brandon Whitley, Nathan Wilson
  • MTI Nominees Taylor Beyer, Brandon Whitley
  • DTM Peter Ton-Excellence in Projectin Design-We Are Proud......
  • Meritorious Achievement in Graphics Design-Trojan Women
  • Carver Upton-Meritorious Achievement in Allied/Tech Design-Urinetown
  • Paisley Timm-Meritorious Achievement in Allied/Tech Design-Dying For It
State Festival 2012 and Regional Festival 2013**
  • Participating Production Eron**, Spring Awakening**
  • Production Awards
  • Distinguished Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role-Victoria Villareal-Spring Awakening
  • Distinguished Direction of a Musical-Greg Graham-Spring Awakening
  • Distinguished Choreography of a Musical-Greg Graham-Spring Awakening
  • Distinguished Choreography for a play-Jonathan Charles-Enron
  • Irene Ryan Nominees Julia Green, Dayne Lathrop, Jae McCain, Tyler Martin, Sara Myers, Amanda Parker, Katie Porterfield,James Smith,Jonathan Teverbaugh, Robin Van Zandt, Victoria Villareal, Brandon Whitley
  • MTI Nominees Seth Cunningham, George Garcia, Danielle Turner, Caleb White, Brandon Whitley, Audrey Wilson
  • DTM Kelsey Sapp-National Finalist for Stage Management-Spring Awakening
State Festival 2011 and Regional Festival 2012**
  • Participating Production Bare: A Pop Opera**
  • Irene Ryan Nominees Nina Garcia, Daniel Nepveux, James Smith, Raven Garcia, Garret Line, Jonathan Tevervbaugh, Jonathan Tevervbaugh, Teresa Zimmerman, Christina Brinkley, Kyle Scholl, Victoria Villareal, Tyler Martin,Blair Carrizales, Yliana Arredondo, Brandon Whitley, Hilary Bryant, Leslie Sinclair
State Festival 2010 and Regional Festival 2011**
  • Participating Production Dead Man's Cell Phone**
  • Irene Ryan Nominees
  • Garrett Storms
State Festival 2009 and Regional Festival 2010**
  • Participating Production Eurydice**
  • Irene Ryan Nominees
  • Tasheena Miyhei
  • Sam Weeks
State Festival 2008 and Regional Festival 2009
  • Irene Ryan Nominees
  • Christina Stroup
  • Mitchell Greco
  • Ashley Lowe
  • Tasheena Miyhei
  • Rachel Logue
State Festival 2007 and Regional Festival 2008**
  • Participating Production Quake**
  • Irene Ryan Finalist
  • Ashtyn Somner
  • Eric Altman
  • Michael Sims
  • Rachael Logue
  • Garrett Storms
  • Amy Burn
State Festival 2006 and Regional Festival 2007
  • Scott McCarrey, SHSU Theatre Major - Directors' Choice Award for Grand Canyon
  • Larry Routh - Excellence in Directing
  • Scott McCarrey - Excellence in Playwriting
  • Rebecca Cobo - Excellence in Costume Design
  • Richard Chamblin - Excellence in Set & Light Design
  • Natalie Gasaway - Excellence in Make-up Design
  • SHSU Department of Theatre and Dance - Excellence in Supporting Original Works
  • Nominations for Irene Ryan Acting Award Scholarship Steven Chambers, Garrett Graham, Cody Hinson
State Festival 2005 and Regional Festival 2006
  • Director's Choice Award (State Festival 2005) - The Exonerated

    Patrick Pearson and Liz Lacy were selected to attend the KCACTF national festival in April 2006 in the area of directing.

State Festival 2004* and Regional Festival 2005**
  • SHSU Faculty and Staff - Excellence in Festival Hosting*
  • SHSU House Crew - Excellence in House Crew *
  • Jonathan Charles - Excellence in Direction and Choreography *
  • Laura Avery - Excellence in Musical Direction *
  • Don Childs - Excellence in Lighting Design *
  • William Burns - Excellence in Sound Design *
  • Skye Krienitz - Excellence in Costume Design *
  • Lindsey Custer - Excellence in Stage Management *
  • Lindsey Custer and Crew - Excellence in Run Crew *
  • Luke Kirkwood and Orchestra - Excellence in Combo Performance *
  • J.C. Coughlin - Excellence in Live Mixing *
  • Danny Colosky - Excellence in First Set Design *
  • Smokey Joe's Café - Excellence in Overall Professionalism *
  • Smokey Joe's Café - Excellence in Ensemble Performance *
  • Smokey Joe's Café - Director's Choice *
  • Smokey Joe's Café - Respondent's Choice *
  • Alpha Psi Omega - Excellence in Festival Hosting *
  • Onyie Nwachukwu - Irene Ryan Nominee *
  • Matt Tompkins - Irene Ryan Nominee *
  • Eric Mota - Irene Ryan Nominee *
  • Kati Torgerson - Irene Ryan Nominee *
  • Chris Wingler - Irene Ryan Nominee *
State Festival 2003* and Regional Festival 2004**
  • Director's Choice Award*
  • Excellence in Directing* - Patrick Pearson
  • Excellence in Prop Design* - Bekah Harris
  • Irene Ryan Award** - Matt Thompkins
  • Irene Ryan Award** - Danial Colosky
  • Irene Ryan Award** - Spencer Plachy
  • Not About Nightingales** - Recommended for consideration for National KCACTF in April 2004. Alternate to KCACTF Nationals 2004.
  • Barbizon Award for Properties 2004** - Bekah Harris
National Awards 2003
  • The Laramie Project - chosen as one of four productions to perform at the 2003 KCACTF national festival in Washington, D.C.
  • The Laramie Project - Director's Choice Award
  • Crys McDonald - Excellence in Stage Managing
  • Kevin Crouch - Excellence in Video Design
  • Excellence in Acting - Joel McDonald
  • Irene Ryan Acting Award - Spencer Plachy
  • Irene Ryan Acting Award - Sofia Gomez
  • Irene Ryan Acting Award - Chelsea Fry
  • Barnraising Award - The Stage Crew
  • Rich, Red Clay - selected as a runner-up for the National Student Playwriting Award
  • Dave Ervin : won a Kennedy Center Fellowship for Outstanding Achievement Demonstrated at the Regional Festival in Playwriting and Performance
  • Patrick Pearson : chosen as one of two directors from colleges to work in the 2003 Summer Intensive Masterclass in the Collaborative Process between directors and designers at the Kennedy Center
State Festival 2002 and Regional Festival 2003
  • Regional Awards 2003
  • Dave Ervin - Excellence in Playwriting (Rich, Red Clay)
  • Larry Routh - Excellence in Acting (Rich, Red Clay)
  • Penny Hasekoeste r- Excellence in Directing (The Laramie Project)
  • The Laramie Project - Special Achievement in Ensemble Performance
  • Rich, Red Clay> - Special Achievement in Ensemble Performance
  • SHSU Department of Theater - Commendation for support of Playwriting
  • SHSU Department of Theater - Commendation for continued work with Rich, Red Clay
  • Jeremy Sutton - Best Partner in the Semi Finalist Round of the Irene Ryans
  • SHSU Department of Theater - Commendation for Excellence in Overall Design
  • Crys McDonald- Excellence in Stage Management (The Laramie Project)
  • The Laramie Project - Respondent's Choice for Best Production
  • Not About Nightingales - Sent to regionals in February 2004
  • State Awards 2002
  • Rich, Red Clay - Director's Choice Award
  • Dave Ervin - Excellence in Playwriting
  • Patrick Pearson - Excellence in Directing
  • Patrick Pearson - Excellence in Sound Design
  • SHSU Theater Department - Excellence in Support of Student Playwriting
  • Connor Bartley - Irene Ryan Acting Award
  • Joel McDonald - Irene Ryan Acting Award
  • Dorcas Sowumni - Irene Ryan Acting Award
KCACTF 2001
  • Uncle Vanya - Respondent's Choice
  • Uncle Vanya - Katie Robinson Award
  • Irene Ryan Award - Jeremy Sutton
  • Irene Ryan Award - Spencer Plachy
  • Irene Ryan Award - Sophia Gomez




Department of Theatre & Musical Theatre
Box 2297, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX 77341-2297
Phone: (936) 294-1329 | E-mail: theatre@shsu.edu