Schuster Theatre students honored at Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival for ‘Stage Fright’


The Gannon University Schuster Theater Student Production Team was recently honored at the Kennedy Center/American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) for their production of “Stage Fright: Play Fest of Fear.”
According to the Kennedy Center, the KCACTF began in 1969 at the hand of Roger L. Stevens, the Kennedy Center’s original chairman.
The KCACTF is a national theater program that works with around 18,000 collegiate students throughout the nation.
“Stage Fright: Play Fest of Fear,” which was originally performed at the Schuster Theater in late October, featured five short plays and was put on by the Gannon honorary theatre fraternity, Alpha Psi Omega.
These 10-minute plays were all written by junior theatre major Michael Haas and were directed by various Gannon students involved in the production.
Recently, the production was selected to advance to the Region II KCACTF at West Chester University, which took place Jan. 12 through Jan. 17.
There, the cast performed three of the original five plays in the Festival Fringe, those being “Remaining,” directed by Megan Hamm; “The Statistic,” directed by Jenna Sulecki; and “True Love,” directed by Zak Westfall.
Thirteen students attended last week’s event: Mary Stephens, Nick Humes, Cassie Bielecki, Brownwyn Brocklehurt, Kendra Walker, Chase Miles, Zach Hyman, Tom Barton, Allie Leng, Westfall, Sulecki, Haas and Hamm.
Hamm, a sophomore communication arts major, said, “KCACTF is an amazing experience. The workshops I have gone to have given me a new perspective on so many areas of theater. My favorite part has been interacting with other theaters within our region and seeing the work they produce.”
Freshman physician assistant major Bronwyn Brocklehurst agreed with Hamm about the positive experience.
“It was really cool to see what other college theatre kids can pull off on the stage, and the combination of that and the workshops has really improved our skill sets,” she said.
“It [KCACTF] was a wonderful learning experience full of educational workshops and performances.”
The production would not have been successful without guidance from Alaina Manchester, visiting professor of acting, and Jacki Vadney, Schuster Theater technical director and design professor.
These women not only assisted in the preparation for the event, but also traveled to West Chester University with the students for the festival.
More than 600 universities including Gannon have become part of the KCACTF network thus far, contributing to the mission to “encourage, recognize and celebrate the finest and most diverse work produced in university and college theater programs.”
For more information involving KCACTF please visit



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