Students, faculty and alumni involved in the College of Charleston Department of Theatre and Dance‘s 2022 production of Violet have received national recognition through the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF).

Part of the CofC Stages 2022–23 Theatre and Dance Season, Violet is a musical by Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley based on The Ugliest Pilgrim, a Southern gothic short story by Doris Betts.

The KCACTF is a national theater program involving 18,000 students annually from colleges and universities across the country. The program has created a foundation that honors excellence through awards and scholarships in arts leadership, design, technology and management, directing, dramaturgy, performance playwright, and theater journalism and advocacy. With a focus of promoting inclusion and diversity and providing opportunities as well as encouragement within the performing arts, KCACTF has given more than 400,000 college theater students the opportunity to receive national recognition and showcase their work.

Funds from the President’s Office and the School of the Arts Dean’s Office helped the Department of Theatre and Dance stage Violet at the KCACTF Region IV festival in February, where it garnered several awards before being judged against the winners in the other seven regions to receive the Distinguished Achievement in Production Design, Outstanding Production of a Musical and Distinguished Performance and Production Ensemble national awards.

In addition, the following also received awards:

  • Kristin Alexander (faculty) – Outstanding Choreography
  • Noah Anderson – Distinguished Achievement in Dramaturgy
  • Nakeisha Daniel (faculty) – Outstanding Director of a Musical
  • Mollie Davis – Distinguished Achievement in Stage Management
  • Eddie Frye ’22 – Distinguished Achievement in Lighting Design
  • Nora Gore – Distinguished Achievement in Dramaturgy
  • Gillian Huntley ’23 – Outstanding Performance by an Actor
  • Skyler Huntley ’23 – Distinguished Performance by an Actor
  • Max Marshall ’23 – Distinguished Achievement in Scenic Design
  • Janine McCabe (chair) –Distinguished Achievement in Costume Design
  • Clyde Moser ’17 (M.A.T. ’23) – Distinguished Performance by an Actor
  • Laura Turner (faculty) – Distinguished Achievement in Musical Direction
  • Spencer Vinzani – Distinguished Performance by an Actor

“Our theatre and dance students have won quite a few national awards over the years, but for one of our productions to receive so many accolades from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival is truly an honor,” says Susan Kattwinkel, professor and spring 2023 interim chair of theatre and dance. “Our faculty and students work so hard and bring so much joy to their work; it’s a thrill to see them honored at such a high level.”

The above awards are but a few among the department’s many achievements during its 2022–23 season. To highlight a few more, the following theatre and dance students received awards this season:

  • Madison Berry – National finalist for the KCACTF/United States Institute for Theatre Technology Randy Lutz Allied Design and Technology Award
  • Savannah Blake ’23 – KCACTF national finalist for Costume Design for Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley
  • Whitney Green – inaugural winner of the SDC/Southeastern Theatre Conference Choreography Award
  • Gillian Huntley ’23 – KCACTF Region IV Musical Theatre Initiative Songbird Award
  • Ethan Robey – third place winner of the SETC Scene Design Award for Miss BennettChristmas at Pemberley