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The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

KCACTF National Stage Management Fellowship


Only students who have stage managed either a participating or associate KCACTF entry and are bona fide students in a college or university at the time of the KCACTF production response are eligible. For the purpose of the National Stage Management Fellowship, a bona fide student is:

  1. an undergraduate student who is registered for a minimum of six semester hours or nine quarter hours at the time of production;
  2. a graduate student who is enrolled for three semester or four quarter hours at the time of production;
  3. a continuing part-time student who is enrolled in a regular degree program at the time of production.

Regional Festival Preparation

If an eligible stage manager wishes to be considered for the National Stage Management Fellowship at his/her regional festival, the student must submit the following to the Regional Chair of Design and Technologies, or the Regional Stage Management Coordinator, as detailed at each region's individual web site:

  • A letter of intent, written solely by the student, including: a short commentary of the stage manager's 'approach statement', a brief statement about why the student believes he/she may gain a positive experience by participating in the regional festival and his/her intention to practice stage management in the future.
  • A 1-page résumé.
  • A letter of support from the entered production's director or, if the director is unavailable, the student's closest stage management faculty/staff mentor outlining the student's strengths, weaknesses and an overview of the student's performance on the entered production.

The criteria for Regional Festival participation vary by region. Communicate with your regional Stage Management Coordinator about how "Festival Stage Managers" are selected and invited.

Participation at the Regional Festival

Prompt Script(s) and the Design Expo

Each student is required to bring his or her prompt script from the entered production.

The prompt script should be the genuine book(s) the student used during the actual production. It should not be beautified or improved after closing night. The prompt script is not required to include ALL of the production's paperwork; these should include, but are not limited to:

  • The "Blocking Script" and the "Calling Script", as one or more books, with blocking and cue-calling notation.
  • Rehearsal and performance notes, as presented to the production/design team.
  • Schedules, including rehearsals, tech rehearsals, etc.
  • Pre-show/post-show checklists, shift schedules, French scenes, etc.
  • Forms, emails, communications, schedules, lists and plots.

All of the above materials should be the bona fide working versions, created during the actual production process.

Prompt scripts will be on display as part of the regional "Design Expo". Stage managers are welcome, but not required, to include a simple display along with their prompt script(s), which may present examples of paperwork, unique stage management techniques, production photos (in order to convey the production values and scope of the production), examples of personalized notations, etc. The stage management prompt script display is intended to provide less experienced stage managers and others the opportunity to examine and learn from the prompt scripts. The display itself is not part of the criteria the stage management respondent considers in selecting a Fellowship candidate.

Eligible albeit inexperienced stage managers are encouraged to participate! Contact your regional Design Expo Coordinator about the display space and configuration available at your regional festival.

Materials should NOT include personal cast/crew contact information. Such information may be expunged.

The Festival Stage Management Team

Each invited "Festival Stage Manager" should be assigned a festival event (10-minute plays, Irene Ryan Scholarship Auditions, Summer Stock Auditions, Faculty Acting Showcase, etc.) to manage, alongside the regional faculty coordinator. The student stage manager's performance on this project will be part of the criteria for Fellowship selection. After you've been invited to your regional festival, contact the Regional Stage Management Coordinator for your assignment(s).

If a Festival Stage Manager is ALSO stage-managing an invited Festival Production, he/she is exempted from stage-managing an additional Festival Event.

The Stage Management Respondent

Each region invites a Stage Management Respondent from outside the region. During the regional festival, the "Festival Stage Managers" must meet with the Respondent in any or all of several ways, coordinated by the Regional Stage Management Coordinator:

  • Individual Interviews.
  • A series of workshops, wherein designated stage managers are the focus of a predetermined time period. Other stage managers are encouraged to observe.
  • A walk-through response to the stage manager's prompt script as part of the "Design/Expo"response process.
  • A large workshop wherein all the Festival Stage Managers assemble with the Respondent.

The Respondent will likely have other workshop and/or response duties in addition to his/her work with the Festival Stage Managers.

Criteria for the National Stage Management Fellowship
Each of the eight KCACTF regions will select on Stage Manager to be awarded a fellowship to attend the national festival.

Selection will be based on the following:

  • Professionalism and completeness of the prompt script and other paperwork.
  • Effectiveness of coordinating and managing a festival event, based on the respondent's feedback from the regional event coordinator.
  • Personal demeanor and communication skills, based on interviews and follow-up workshops.
  • Written material, submitted prior to the Regional Festival.

If the production is an official "Invited Festival Production" at the regional festival, a photocopy of that production's prompt may be substituted for the original along with a explanatory sign, at the stage manager's discretion.

For questions about the KCACTF National Stage Management Fellowship, contact Brad Buffum (National Coordinator) at

Previous Award Recipients

Chelsea Gillespie, The College of Wooster
Shanna Allison, Emerson College
Michelle Elias, University of Michigan
Jereme Lewis, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Brett D. Elliott, Saginaw Valley State