ASU Theatre Students “Stand Strong” at Theatre Festival


John Taylor JC Maheu and Nicholas Harlan

Dr. John Taylor congratulates theatre majors JC Maheu and Nicholas Harlan, who performed a scene from Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays at the KCACTF in February.

Adams State University Theatre students and faculty recently attended the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) in Denver, Colorado. From February 15 through February 19, ten theatre majors and two faculty members represented ASU at the prestigious gathering where students from universities and community colleges from around the western region of the United States took part in competitions, performances, and workshops.

On the opening evening of the festival, the Adams State Theatre program presented a section of Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays as part of the Fifth Annual Evening of Invitational Scenes. The play was performed on campus last fall as part of Standing Strong: The ASU Equality Project which celebrated efforts to create a more inclusive society by dismantling barriers to equality.

"It was a great honor to be invited along with just nine other schools from the region to perform during the evening of scenes. We were able to not only showcase the good work of our theatre program to the region, but highlight ASU's commitment to 'standing strong' for inclusion, diversity, and student engagement," said John Taylor, professor of theatre.

Alexander Adams-Pachl, Lauren Long, Nicholas Harlan, Katie Miller, JC Maheu, Jordan Hannebaum, John Taylor, Jenna Neilsen, Tyler Dunlap, Isabel Schneider, Lauren Braun and Brendan Duran

Scholarship competitions are a major part of KCACTF. Competing in the national Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship competition were Alexander Adams-Pachl '16, Lauren Long '16, Nicholas Harlan '16, Katie Miller '17, JC Maheu '17, and Jordan Hannebaum '17. These students were selected to be in the competition by outside adjudicators based on their outstanding work in various ASU Theatre productions. Tyler Dunlap '16, Isabel Schneider '16, Lauren Braun '17, Brendan Duran '18 were acting partners for the competitors.

During their trip to the theatre festival, Taylor, Jenna Neilsen, associate professor of theatre, and five of the students helped represent ASU before state legislators during the Adams State Day at the Capitol.

"I couldn't be more proud of our students and the way they represented Adams State at the Kennedy Center festival and at the statehouse. It was an exciting week for our students to explore their passion for theatre by competing, performing, attending workshops, and seeing live theatre," said Neilsen.