January 8, 2024

“Avenue Q” Invited to KCACTF Region 8 Festival

The cast of the Santa Monica College Theatre Arts production of “Avenue Q.” The musical comedy is one of four productions invited to perform live at the Region 8 Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) to be held Feb. 12-17 at Glendale Community College in Glendale, Calif.

Santa Monica College's "Avenue Q" Invited to KCACTF Region 8 Festival

The college’s production of the musical comedy is one of four invited to perform at the prestigious festival

SANTA MONICA, CA—The Santa Monica College (SMC) Theatre Arts production of “Avenue Q” has been invited to present the musical comedy live at the Region 8 Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) to be held Feb. 12-17 at Glendale Community College in Glendale, Calif. There are four invited productions overall to be presented at the regional festival, which is in its 56th year. “Avenue Q” is the eleventh SMC Theatre Arts production to be invited to this prestigious festival.

With music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, book by Jeff Whitty, and based on an original concept by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, “Avenue Q” is a Tony Award–winning musical comedy about a bright-eyed college grad who comes to New York with big dreams and little money. The play, which comes complete with puppets and creatures galore, is an invitation to meet Princeton, Trekkie Monster, and their neighbors on Avenue Q, the only street the grad can afford to live on—a street not fit for public television. The SMC production was licensed by Music Theatre International (MTI)

The SMC production is directed by Terrin Adair-Lynch with music direction by Gary Gray. The Theatre Arts Department and student actors staged “Avenue Q” Dec. 1-10, 2023 at the SMC Main Stage. The KCACTF is a year-round program in eight geographic regions in the United States; Region 8 is made up of Arizona, Central and Southern California, Hawaii, Southern Nevada, Utah and Guam. Regional activities are coordinated through eight KCACTF regional chairs and eight KCACTF playwriting awards chairs, with funding and administrative support from the Kennedy Center.

Each year the KCACTF Region 8 Festival brings students and faculty together in mid-February to see one another’s work and to share ideas. In addition to the four invited productions within Festival 56, various programs will be offered for students to participate in design, technology, stage management, playwriting, performance, musical theatre, devised theatre, directing and more.

“This is a great honor—I am excited to once again team up with Gary Gray, all of our amazing, talented students and staff to bring this production to the festival,” said SMC Theatre Arts Professor Terrin Adair Lynch. “We aim to represent the excellence of Santa Monica College—thank you to everyone who supported this production!”

Staff accompanist/musical director Gary Gray stated that the honor is a terrific opportunity for the students, “not only to reprise our wonderful production, but also to experience other festival workshops and performances.” Gray stated that having been at the KCACTF regional festival in 2012 as musical director of another selected SMC production, Ed Begley’s César and Rubén, he is “really looking forward to performing as a part of KCACTF again!"

For more information on the Region 8 festival, visit kcactf-8.org. Since its inception, KCACTF has given more than 400,000 college theater students the opportunity to have their work critiqued, improve their dramatic skills and receive national recognition for excellence. More than 16 million theatergoers have attended approximately 10,000 festival productions nationwide. For more information on the national program, visit: kcactf.org.

Santa Monica College’s Theatre Arts Department offers degree and certificate options in theatre arts and technical theatre. Student crews cast and run all department productions. For more information, visit smc.edu/theatre.

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