By Reece Roth

The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) has once again come to Cape Cod Community College (4Cs) and the campus is buzzing. 


The festival, which is an annual event, provides a wide variety of workshops, auditions and performances for theater students and enthusiasts alike to experience. This year, 4Cs students that are currently taking any theater classes were registered for the festival and given the opportunity to attend any event for free.  


2020 is the second year in a three-year term where 4Cs has hosted the festival. The school hosted last year and is set to host again in 2021. The college has had a previous three year run where it hosted in 2013, 2014 and 2015.  


Vana Trudeau, a professor at 4Cs, is the principal host of the theater festival and the co-chair for her region. She was originally asked to be the co-vice chair in 2018, and only recently became co-chair in February of this year.   


“When we were asked to host the festival, we had no idea what that meant,” said Trudeau. She, along with the other executives of the festival, are volunteers who help as a service to the field of performing arts. Regarding her goals for the festival, Trudeau has mentioned that she wants to “meet the goals and needs of every student, regardless of what those goals may be.” 


In the future, she is hoping to see more students participate, as she knows that more intentional participation will offer opportunities for internships in areas like arts administration and stage management.  


There were many familiar faces at the festival, including Elizabeth Rapoza, who teaches theater at 4Cs. Rapoza hosted her own workshop titled ‘Backyard Dramatics: Self Scripting with Children and Teens’. The workshop attendees learned all about the process of writing plays and scripts for a younger audience.  


This workshop had the participants break off into groups of either three or four. While together, they were asked to create their own story and present it to the group after a period of time working with each other. Many of these examples showed examples of real-life scenarios that were dramatized into scenes.  


The performances were very spontaneous and outgoing, and they were ones a child would find entertaining, fitting in with the purpose of the workshop.  


After the workshop a couple of attendees shared their thoughts on the event and how it left an effect on them. 


“I found it unique, and it’s always helpful to learn tips on teaching kids,” said Julia Duggan, a student at Worcester State University.


Duggan took the workshop because she enjoys working with children and hopes to direct kid’s plays in the future.   


Another participant was Zack Steenbergen, who attends Duchess Community College in New York. Steenbergen worked with a non-profit organization called The Young Americans, whose goals was to teach children theater.  


“Rapoza’s methods of teaching directly contributes to the methods of the organization,” said Steenbergen.


From storytelling exercises such as these, to meditation and yoga lessons, and everything in between, the KCACTF offers a variety of workshops so that even those who aren’t typically into theater are likely to find a workshop that interests them. 4Cs is able to offer free admission to its students when it hosts the KCACTF, so students are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity upon its return in 2021.