Normandale to Host Kennedy Center College Theater Festival

Prestigious event celebrates the creative process of the theatre.


Known But to God, a Normandale Theatre Department's production, received special recognition at Kennedy Center Region V Festival in 2013.

Normandale Theatre Instructors Anne and Sean Byrd (3rd & 4th from left) flanked by Normandale students at the 2013 festival

Normandale will host the Kennedy Center American College (KCACTF) Theater Region V Festival in 2015 and 2016. Normandale will be one of only a few two-year colleges in the history of the event to have hosted a KCACTF Regional Festival.

The Kennedy Center: American College Theatre Festival

Founded in 1969, the KCACTF is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide. It has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of U.S. college theatre during that time. Over the course of its 45-year history, the KCACTF has grown into a network of more than 600 academic institutions throughout the U.S. in which theatre departments and student artists showcase their work and receive outside assessment by KCACTF respondents.

Through state, regional, and national festivals, KCACTF participants celebrate the creative process, see one another’s work, and share experiences and insights. The KCACTF honors excellence of overall production and offers student artists individual recognition through awards and scholarships in playwriting, acting, criticism, directing, and design.

Region V includes colleges and universities from Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The past two regional festivals have been held at the University of Nebraska, and last year’s festival hosted more than 1,500 participants.

Recipient of 2013 Kennedy Center honors

In 2013, the Normandale Theatre Department had an original production, Known But to God, selected as one of the performances to be showcased at the KCACTF festival in Lincoln, Neb. A Normandale student, Mathew Foster, also won a national award for Allied Crafts for his design and creation of properties for the play.

Normandale Instructor Anne Byrd received a Gold Medallion award in 2013 that honored her excellence in theatre education, production work, and academic work, in addition to having demonstrated a strong commitment to the KCACTF. She and her husband, Sean Byrd, who also is a Normandale instructor, have worked to support the KCACTF and have been heavily involved in the organization of past KCACTF regional festivals.

To read more about the Theatre Department click here.