Three Huskies participate in American College Theatre Festival

By Yaneira Rodriguez

Every year, The Kennedy Center holds the American College Theater Festival, a national festival that invites over 200 theater students from various colleges and universities. 

This year three students from ELAC were selected to participate in the festival for their respective categories: Julia Chavez in dancing, David Rangel in acting, and Alexis Castro for props.

There are various categories represented in the festival. 

They include acting, design, directing, playwriting, stage management, dramaturgy, arts leadership, and theater criticism. 

Chavez applied two weeks before the Musical Theater Initiatives that were held along with the Irene Ryan acting competition. 

She was among 20 other dancers to perform in an ensemble dance number at the Musical Theater Dance Showcase and Cabaret. 

She sent out her headshot and acting/dance resume and was invited to audition. 

Chavez was excited and grateful to show her dance skills surrounded by a group of wonderful and talented people.

She performed a short musical theater dance combination that was choreographed by guest artist Corry West. 

When asked if she hoped to win a scholarship, she said, “Most definitely! I’d be honored to be awarded a scholarship for my work because I put my whole heart into my craft as an artist.”

Chavez hopes to grow more as a dancer and take pride in doing what she is destined to do in her theatrical journey. 

She hopes to gain more courage as a performer that will help her continue to unlock her further potential. 

Rangel is in his fourth year at ELAC and it is his first time attending the festival, which was held in Las Vegas. 

Rangel was a finalist and won the award for best classical performance in acting. 

His partner, Jezmarie Viramontes, won the award for best scene partner. 

Rangel said, “It was a great experience and felt a lot of pride when my partner and I made it to the final round and actually won an award.”

Castro applied for the Design and Technical Management side of the theatrical world. 

In order to apply, a person must have designed an aspect of the show. 

This includes props, lighting, sound, and scenic. 

This was his first time applying to the festival and was excited to showcase his work and have the opportunity to meet other theater students from around the region. 

Castro gained insight into the individuals who work behind the scenes in theater around the region. 

He met a lot of student designers, professors, and working professionals. 

“ I was lucky enough to be given a behind the scenes tour of “Michael Jackson: One.” I received the regional award for props and Student Choice Award. It was great to feel acknowledged for my work.”

The festival gives theater students the opportunity to learn and connect with established theater artists. 

There are a wide range of activities that have included workshops and seminars that all students are encouraged to participate in. 

There are a number of scholarships and awards given out throughout the week. 

The National Festival is broken down into eight regions. 

Region eight comprises Arizona, Central and Southern California, Hawaii, Southern Nevada, Utah, and Guam. 

It is an opportunity for young student artists who are ready to learn more about their craft. 

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