SRJC Theater Students prepare for ACTF


Jeff Thomas

From left to right: Christopher Gonzalez, Jimmy Jaber and Evan T. Attwood

Nadav Soroker, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Seven SRJC actors from the fall season are heading to the Kennedy Center’s American College Theater Festival for Region VII in Sacramento to compete in the Irene Ryan Acting Competition for a chance to perform on a national stage.

The nominees are being joined by their acting partners. Also going are backstage technicians who will compete in the festival’s Tech Olympics, other students and faculty who will participate in the various classes and workshops the festival offers and a student who was nominated to compete in the Society of Directors and Choreographers Student Directors Fellowship.

The festival will take place from Feb. 18-22 at American River College in Sacramento, and will host the Division VII festival group, which includes Northern California and Nevada, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. Last year the festival was held too far away for SRJC students to attend so for many students this will be their first time.

The seven Irene Ryan Nominees and their partners will be competing in the preliminaries on Monday and Tuesday, with semi-finals being held on Thursday and the finals on Friday.

Rosie Frater has been to the festival twice before, both times as a partner to previous nominees. This time she is going as a nominee for her work as Mrs. Potts from “Beauty and the Beast.” Frater is cautious about her chances competing against the hundreds of other attending actors, but still hopeful.

“Our theater program is fantastic and everyone should know it,” Frater said.

Frater will be joined at the festival by fellow nominees Angela Monique, Tia Starr and Paige Picard from “Trouble in Mind,” Alice Glass and Madison Scarbrough from “Trust” and Brittany Law who acted in “Beauty and the Beast” with her.

The Tech Olympics, which will be held Thursday are a series of challenges designed to test the skills of the technical crew that a theater relies upon, such as spot light operators, scenery operators, sound techs and more. Two years ago when SRJC students participated at the ACTF held in Humboldt they took the gold and now they are particularly keen on retaking their place as kings of the hill.

The final SRJC competitor is Skylar Evans who will be competing in the Student Directors Fellowship. Evans submitted his work directing the Student Theatre Guild and SRJC Theatre Arts department co-production of Trust during the fall semester as his example of directing.

He has since worked with three of his fellow actors to prepare a scene that they will present at the festival to a closed audience on Tuesday. If they pass the preliminaries they will perform for an open audience Friday.

He was confident about their performance at the festival. “I have absolute support and belief in my actors,” Evans said.

Though the full individual registration price is $95-115, a day pass is available at the venue for $20. Any family members, peers or friends of actors or technicians who want to provide emotional support for a competitor will be able to.