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The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

Additional Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards in Acting

The Mark Twain Scholarship for Comic Performance

The Mark Twain Comedy Acting Award will be presented to an Irene Ryan Acting Award national finalists each spring. A cash award of $2,000 will be given for the best comic performance in the National Irene Ryan Evening of Scenes. Founded in 1999 and supported by Comedy Central, Inc. the award has as its primary goal to foster the finest in comic acting on the national level.

The Williamstown Theatre Festival Apprenticeship

A representative from the Williamstown Theatre Festival will serve as a national judge at the Irene Ryan Winners' Circle Evening of Scenes and will select an actor of color to receive the annual KCACTF Williamstown Theatre Festival Apprenticeship. This scholarship is made possible by the Williamstown Theatre Festival's Everett Scholarship Fund to provide financial assistance for minority applicants to the annual Apprentice Workshop.

Located on the campus of Williams College in the Berkshire hills of northwestern Massachusetts, the Williamstown Theatre Festival has acquired a national reputation for the artists it attracts and the gifted young actors, designers and directors it sends out into the world. Over 2,000 individuals have completed the Williamstown Theatre Festival's Apprentice Workshop. Santo Loquasto, Kate Hudson, Christopher Reeve, Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Jason Leigh all started their careers as WTF apprentices.

Apprentices alternate workshop classes and rotating production assignments. The apprentice will take intensive courses in acting, voice and movement, present scenes in progress and attend special seminars with guest and resident artists in acting, design, directing and playwriting. The apprentices also work in the theater's scenes shop, publicity department, box office, production, administration and costumes. In eleven weeks, the apprentice will gain a thorough first-hand knowledge of the operation of a first-class professional theater.

The Shakespeare Theatre Company Acting Fellowship

The Shakespeare Theatre, Michael Kahn- Artistic Director, will offer a full-season Acting Internship with the company to an Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship nominee or partner. The internship includes housing and a stipend. The Shakespeare Theatre, the United States' Premiere Classical Theatre, provides a unique opportunity for up to eight actors to participate in the full theatrical season of plays, in addition to classes and workshops with company members and guest artists. Acting interns receive training in text, voice & speech, Alexander Technique, acting Shakespeare and stage combat, in addition to performance experience.

The VASTA [Voice and Speech Trainers Association] Award for Vocal Excellence

The VASTA Award for Vocal Excellence in Performance is presented in recognition outstanding of acting and voice work. Recipients are awarded a $500 scholarship and a year's membership in VASTA, the Voice and Speech Trainer's Association.

VASTA is an international organization dedicated to advancing the highest standards of voice and speech use and artistry in all professional arenas. VASTA promotes the concept that the art of the voice and speech specialist is integral to the successful teaching of acting and to the development of all professional voice users.

The Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre Training Program/Mad River Festival Scholarship

KCACTF is delighted to offer the Dell'Arte/Mad River Festival Fellowship to be awarded to an Irene Ryan national finalist or partner. Dell'Arte International is a unique organization devoted to the art of the actor/creator and to the development of Theatre of Place. Dell'Arte, located in Pacific redwood region of Northern California. Blue Lake has become an American center for the exploration, performance, training and development of physical performance, attracting students from all over the world. Fellows will take daily classes offered by resident faculty and master classes by the international guest artists in residence for the Mad River Festival.

The Margolis Method Summer Intensive Fellowship

KCACTF is pleased to announce the creation of the Margolis Method Summer Intensive Acting Fellowships that will be awarded to two Irene Ryan National finalists.

The Margolis Method Summer Intensive offers a seven-day study of the performer's physicality as the basis for expression and gives the performer a muscular vocabulary with which to create physical dramatic art. Through this rigorous physical and vocal technique, performers broaden their expressive range and garner the skills that allow them to create meaningful original theater productions that place the actor at the center of the creative process. In a demanding yet supportive atmosphere, this class fosters artists' ensemble awareness and improvisational skills. Inspired by the work of Decroux, Grotowski and Brecht, the Margolis Method reflects 25 years of research. All classes are taught by Kari Margolis, and are held at the Margolis Brown Theater Company's new Historic Landmark building in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

With the physical actor at the center of the creative process, the Margolis Brown Theater Company merges other media to create a modern theater of spectacle and celebration that is rich in metaphor, one that grabs an audience both emotionally and intellectually and affects them for a long time afterwards. The Company's research centers on the dramatic force and emotion that emanates from an actor's physicality.

Kari Margolis will serve as an Irene Ryan National Judge and will select the two fellowship recipients.

Partner Limitations

No Irene Ryan nominee may serve as partner for another Irene Ryan nominee. A student may serve as partner for no more than two Irene Ryan Scholarship nominees per festival. All scene partners must have been a bona fide student at the time of the initial KCACTF response or during the term in which the regional festival occurs (confirmed in writing as outlined above). Nominees and their partners need not be students at the same institution.

The Actors Theatre of Louisville Apprentice Company Scholarship

Now in its 41st year, the Actors Theatre of Louisville's Acting Apprentice Company is one of the nation's oldest continuing pre-professional resident training companies. Each year, over 2000 young artists audition for only 22 spots in the Company. This one-of-a-kind bridge program is designed to transition recent college graduates into professional careers by teaching the practical skills necessary to be competitive in major markets, as well as methods for creating their own work. The Acting Apprentice Company performs its own five show season, apart from Actors Theatre's mainstage season, which culminates in a specially commissioned work in the Humana Festival of New American Plays.

One National Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Finalist or Partner will be awarded a $2500 scholarship to be a part of the Acting Apprentice Company.

The Kingsley Colton Award for Outstanding Partner

A special $500 scholarship, The Kingsley Colton Award, is also given to the actor named Best Partner. The scholarships are paid by the foundation directly to the institution of the student's choice and are not restricted to the study of theater arts. Each of the performers has chosen his or her own material and partner. Each finalist is limited to six minutes on stage.