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WCSU wins five Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival national awards

image of (l-r): Sam Rogers, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Alicia Napalitano, of Woodbury, in a scene from "Uncle Vanya."
(l-r): Sam Rogers, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Alicia Napalitano, of Woodbury, in a scene from “Uncle Vanya.”

DANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University Department of Theatre Arts participated in the Region One Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) in late January/early February 2019 for the fourth year in a row. The department once again came out strong by staging a well-received performance of the university’s fall 2018 production, “Uncle Vanya,” at Cape Cod Community College that resulted in five national awards.

This year’s awards for “Uncle Vanya” are:

Distinguished Performance in a Play – Jillian Caillouette, of Meriden

Distinguished Performance in a Play – Sam Rogers, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Distinguished Performance in a Play – Caleigh Rose Lozito, of Bristol

Distinguished Achievement in Directing – Professor of Theatre Arts Pam McDaniel

Distinguished Achievement in Stage Management – Katie Girardot, of New Milford

McDaniel, chair of the WCSU Theatre Arts Department and director of “Uncle Vanya,” said the awards are particularly gratifying because it was the first time the university had staged a non-musical production at the regional festival.

“It is such an honor for our students to be nationally recognized for their work on ‘Uncle Vanya,’” McDaniel said. “It is one of the hardest modern classics in the canon and working with our students to meet the challenge with enthusiasm and skill was rewarding as a director. When we traveled to the regional festival, ‘Uncle Vanya’ was the only production from Region One designated as a national entry. It was such a pleasure to once again share the work of our theatre arts program, to receive the expressions of appreciation of the work and to expand the perspective for the diverse genres of theatre that we produce here at WCSU.”

In the past three years, WCSU has received national KCACTF honors for its productions of “Evita,” “The Drowsy Chaperone” and “Parade.”

KCACTF is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from more than 700 colleges and universities nationwide. Eight regional festivals take place in January and February, with finalists and some award winners advancing to the national festival in April in Washington, D.C. WCSU is part of Region 1, which comprises Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, northeastern New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.



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