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SMC Theatre Arts Students Win Awards at Regional Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

Also Present Sold-Out Performances of “Quartet: 4 Short Plays by Samuel Beckett”

SMC students presented four sold-out performances at the festival of their 2016 production of “Quartet: 4 Short Plays by Samuel Beckett" at the 2017 Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF).​​ One of only six plays featured at the regional festival, “Quartet” was selected from productions judged at colleges and universities throughout the western region of the nation and is SMC’s fifth full-performance production selected for competition at the regional festival in the past six years.

March 1, 2017

SANTA MONICA, CA—Santa Monica College (SMC) Theatre Arts students have returned from Mesa, AZ, with scholarships and awards from the regional competition of the 2017 Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF). The regional festival was held February 14-18 at Mesa Community College.

SMC students presented four sold-out performances at the festival of their 2016 production of “Quartet: 4 Short Plays by Samuel Beckett,” which included “Come and Go,” “What Where,” “Catastrophe,” and “Quad.” One of only six plays featured at the regional festival, “Quartet” was selected from productions judged at colleges and universities throughout the western region: Southern and Central California, Southern Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and Hawaii. “Quartet” is SMC’s fifth full-performance production selected for competition at the regional festival in the past six years.

SMC student Cassidy Hayes received two theater technology awards for outstanding achievement in the category of Projection Design. One was the KCACTF Allied Design and Technology Award, which provides her with the chance to attend the annual US Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) Conference. The other was the Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas (SILV) Award for Excellence in Technology and Design, which will provide Hayes with full tuition, housing, and daily breakfast and lunch while attending a one-week SILV master class in the summer.

Melhia Piot received a $1,600 scholarship to attend CSU Summer Arts 2017, which returns to Fresno State this year. Summer Arts offers students the chance to work side-by-side with arts professionals and take part in hands-on academic courses in theater, dance, media arts, and other areas, as well as a month-long public arts festival.

A CSU Summer Arts award was also presented to SMC student Ed Refuerzo, who received a $1,600 scholarship to attend the “Acting Irish Theatre In Dublin” course. The course is held at The Lir, Ireland’s National Academy of Dramatic Art at Trinity College Dublin, formally associated with the renowned Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).

Paul Gabriel and Anthony Arevalo were both selected as finalists for the Stage Management Fellowship, which is awarded for professionalism and effectiveness in coordinating and managing a festival event.

Two SMC students were also cast in the Musical Theatre Initiative, which culminated with a performance in the MTI Cabaret. Piot was selected as a lead dancer for the cabaret, and James Scognamillo was chosen for song.

Scognamillo (with scene partner Serenity Robb) and Piot (with scene partner Dan Ruiz) were also selected – along with Madeline Yagle (with scene partner Garrow Geer) – as semifinalists for the prestigious Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships that provide recognition and financial assistance to help outstanding student performers pursue their education.

This is the sixth year in a row that SMC has been selected to participate in the regional festival. The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival is a national theater program involving 18,000 students selected annually from colleges and universities nationwide.

For more information, please call (310) 434-4319. Santa Monica College offers an Associate in Arts degree in Theatre Arts, as well as an Associate in Science degree in Technical Theatre. SMC Theatre Arts students have been accepted into NYU, Columbia University, The Juilliard School, and many alumni work as professional actors and theatre technicians on and off-Broadway, as well as in National Tours, London’s West End and other international theatrical venues.

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