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QCC Students take Center Stage at Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

February, 2018
  • Some QCC students who participated in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival included: Lola Balogun, Kyler Simard and Alexis Guertin.

Quinsigamond Community College theater students recently had the opportunity to attend the regional Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF), held at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury Connecticut. This was the first time QCC theater students had attended the festival.

The students spent the better part of three days performing in plays, viewing other student plays and attending workshops that included a myriad of topics such as puppetry, improvisation, writing poorly, basics in special effects, acting, movement, stage management, make up, voice, script analysis, musical theater and dance.

QCC students Alejandro “Alex” Fontanes and Lola Balogun were cast in the National Playwright Program (NPP) One-Act plays. These are original 10-minute plays written by students, accepted by the NPP and directed by professional directors.  Ms. Balogun was cast for a play entitled, Legs, written by Hannah Berman and directed by Kaia Monroe Rarick.

“At first I was hesitant to follow through (with auditioning) because I had quite the fear of messing up in the audition or just completely failing. Surprisingly, I made it and became a part of the 10-minute productions,” Ms. Balogun said. “Overall, that whole experience helped me to slowly increase my confidence with auditioning and gain some responsibility with following through rehearsals and reaching toward the end result, or to that “opening night.’”

Mr. Fontanes was cast in a play entitled, Initiation, written by Kyle Gregory and directed by Adam Zahler.

“KCACTF was an experience that was both educational and fun. I had a great time interacting with my fellow QCC students and with the students from other colleges,” said Mr. Fontanes. “This was a week I'll never forget.”

Mr. Fontanes was also a nominee in the Irene Ryan Acting Award program during the northeast regional festival. While he and his partner, QCC student Liam Doherty did not move past the first round, according to QCC Theater Director Kelly Stowell, they showed really well and received great constructive feedback from the judges.

 “All of the students broadened their horizons by attending workshops and watching other students perform,” Ms. Stowell said.

“It was a great experience and I enjoyed every minute of it,” QCC student Kyler Simard concurred.  “I greatly enjoyed the diversity of workshops available to me to allow me to explore the world of performing arts…”

Student will hopefully be able to use their new found theatrical knowledge in the college’s Theater Club’s upcoming performance of “Thornwood,” to be held this spring.

For more information on QCC’s theater program visit