GCC Theatre students receive Kennedy Center nominations

By Emily Csukardi


Eight Glendale Community College students who were involved in the comedic Spring Theatre production “Splitting Issues (And Several Other Noteworthy Concerns)” received nominations by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival on March 2.

The nominees will be showcasing their acting and design abilities in the competition for the Kennedy regional scholarships in February 2014 in Los Angeles.

Nominated cast members include Bailey Hall for her roles as Gwen, Rosalind and Karen, JJ Hansen as Richard and Wayne.

Among the nominated crew members are Danielle Lopez for Stage Management, Angela O’Connor for Properties Design, Kevin O’Connor for Media Projections Design, JJ Hansen for Lighting Design, Jordan Taylor for make-up and Hair Design and Kristopher Swinson for Sound Design.

“The students have already begun preparing for festival. Actors are choosing competition worthy material; designers are gathering their material together,” said David Seitz, theatre professor and director of “Splitting Issues.”

KCACTF gives students the opportunity to showcase their talent and receive critiques to gain recognition and encourage their progress within the theatrical arts.

“At festival they will perform/present in various rounds in front of judges from other regions in the country.  In between, they will rehearse and practice, participate in workshops and seminars in various theatre techniques and subjects, and attend performances and shows by the invited productions,” said Seitz.

For GCC students such as Angela O’Connor, Kristopher Swinson and Danielle Lopez, this is their first festival nomination. Actors JJ Hansen and Bailey Hall have earned previous nominations, though this will be Hansen’s first nomination for lighting design and Kevin O’Connor’s first nomination for Media Projections. For Jordan Taylor, this will be her third nomination for Make-up and Hair Design.

With prior experience or not, the students have months of planning and preparation before the festival next year.

“They will be working with me on their scenes, monologues, displays, and presentations.  Some will even participate in the Next Step auditions in front of representatives from four-year universities, Theatre Conservatories Production Companies, and Theatre Festivals,” said Seitz.

Participating in the Next Step auditions takes the students a step further, as they will be competing for scholarships and job opportunities.

Those nominated for their technical theatre skills will be judged upon their creative designs, which they create themselves for elements such as lighting and props.

“Designers prepare a 4’x4′ display to be placed in a gallery.  Then they give a five-minute presentation about their process and take questions from the judges for a couple more minutes. That’s the short version,” said Seitz.

While the festival provides the students with an opportunity to demonstrate their talent, it also gives them a chance to hone their skills at a higher level.

“KCACTF is very important.  All participants will get responded to after performances and presentations.  This is all about Educational Theatre, and the ‘process’ is highly regarded so students may continue to grow and improve,” said Seitz.

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