Welcome to KCACTF

Region 1 / Festival 50

Western Connecticut State University
January 30th - February 4th, 2018

The Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Auditions

Required reading for all nominees, partners and faculty coaches.

Overview of Rules, Procedures and Registration

Dear Irene Ryan Candidates and Faculty Coaches of Region I,

Congratulations to all Region 1 nominees and partners! You have each been selected to audition for this prestigious award because the quality of your work distinguished you amongst your peers. The Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships provide recognition, honor, and financial assistance to outstanding student performers wishing to pursue further education. The Irene Ryan Foundation awards sixteen regional and two national scholarships annually. One nominee and partner from each region will be invited to the national festival and the nominee will receive a $500 scholarship.  The runner-up in each region will receive a  $500 scholarship, but will not attend the national festival to audition for the national scholarship.  One national Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship award recipient will receive a $5,000 scholarship (up from the previous total of $3,000) and their partner will receive a $1,000 scholarship (previously the partners were not awarded scholarship funds.) The second place national recipient will receive a $2500 scholarship and their partner will receive a $500 scholarship

You may now find yourself wondering “where do I begin”? Below you will find a brief overview of the basic rules, procedures and registration requirements to aid you in your preparations. PLEASE review the following information with your Faculty Coaches, and the links on this website, and then consult the national website for an in-depth summary and answers to your questions. Your coaches are crucial resources in helping you prepare for a successful audition. If you have questions in the coming months, direct them first to your faculty member and then, if questions still remain, ask your faculty member to contact the Irene Ryan chairs for Region 1 for an answer by Wednesday, January 17, 2017.

Where to Begin

First, choose material (two scenes and one monologue) that both showcases your talent AND addresses the Criteria used to evaluate the auditions. They are:


Auditions will be evaluated using the following criteria at every level of the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Auditions:

  • Ability to urgently pursue strong, clear objectives.
  • Ability to partner.
  • Ability to make varied, specific and bold acting choices.
  • Mastery of an expressive and flexible vocal and physical instrument.
  • Demonstration of facility with language and a clear understanding of the text.
  • In addition to the above criteria, auditions in the semi-final and final rounds will be evaluated on the candidate's ability to demonstrate range and contrast.
  • Avoid material designed to demonstrate the actor's cleverness as an end in and of itself.

Second, you MUST submit the online Irene Ryans Scene/Monologue Selection Form by the JANUARY 17, 2017 deadline in order to audition. Any subsequent changes to your selections or scene partners can be made when you arrive at the festival however, any candidate who has not submitted this form by the January 17th deadline will forfeit their place in the auditions. THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS RULE. Please be sure that you have all of the required information available prior to submitting your selections. This includes the following:

  • Your Coach/Mentor’s name & email address.
  • Your Scene Partner’s Name.
  • Whether you are sharing your Scene Partner and if so, the other Candidate’s name.
  • The name of the hotel you are registered at for the Festival.
  • Your Scene and Monologue information:
  • Title of Play
  • Author
  • Translation by (if appropriate)
  • Whether it is a musical piece (song title)
  • Dramatic material written before the 20th century (eligible for Classical Acting Award)
  • Publisher/Rights Information confirming permission to perform the piece(s.)

Please consult KCACTF rules regarding rights available HERE

Candidates MUST comply with the performance guidelines as outlined on the KCACTF website: HERE.

Please note, our rules state: “Performers should seriously consider that when internal cuts and the realignment of text are made to scenes or monologues, there is the risk of significantly altering the interpretation of the dramatic idea of the play and the author’s intent. Most authors would not support such an action, even for an audition. Both mentors and students are reminded that they assume the liability if the rights holders choose to formally complain about the way the material is used.”

To this end, there will be a box on the Ryan registration form you will be required to check to acknowledge that you are aware that you are liable if you violate copyright laws by making internal cuts to your scenes or monologue. The complete rules information can be found HERE

Time Limits for Rounds

In an effort to model the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Auditions after professional auditions, there will no longer be a "disqualification" at any level of the Irene Ryan auditions due to time. Time limits will be enforced, and are limited to 3 minutes at the preliminary audition, 5 minutes at the semi-final audition, and 6 minutes at the final round of auditions. Much like a professional audition, actors will be stopped at the time limit at all levels. There will be no warnings on time, such as hand raising, paddle waving, etc. There is no grace period at any level; nor any disqualification. Time management is a very important consideration in selecting material. While there is no longer any disqualification, actors are strongly encouraged to allow themselves the time needed to fully develop the acting moments. It is a disadvantage to the actor to prepare an audition which requires the actor to rush to finish the material, or to risk having the most important moments go unseen, and is indicative of an unprofessional and ill-prepared audition. Time the performance carefully so that it is always within the required limits. The confidence, poise, and polish of outstanding auditions are the result of dedicated, concentrated rehearsal and astute coaching.

* Change to Format *

Due to a significant change to the Ryan’s at the national level, Prelims, Semis and Final rounds will see significant changes to the format of these rounds this year in all regions. Most significantly will be a change for all nominees in the Preliminary round.

Round One (Preliminary) - A maximum of three minutes in the regional preliminary round to present a two-person scene and a monologue.   Only 1 selection may include singing.

Round Two (Semi-Final) - A maximum of five minutes in this round to perform the preliminary round scene AND a contrasting two-person scene (which may or may not incorporate singing) using the same partner for both scenes.

Round Three (Final) - A maximum of six minutes in the regional final round to present the semi final round audition scenes plus the monologue or solo musical number from the first round.

Musical Scene Selections

All musical accompaniment for actors singing scenes from musicals must be live. No recorded accompaniment will be allowed. Remember, if a scene in the audition incorporates singing, the scene must be in dialogue or duet with the partner. The accompanist will not count as the partner (unless the accompanist performs as a character in the audition). KCACTF will provide an accompanist for your audition and you will have a short, designated rehearsal period together before each round. Avoid a cappella singing as it is not the standard of professional auditions and puts the actor at a disadvantage.

Thanks to all of the Region 1 students and coaches who make the Irene Ryan Scholarships such an exciting part of our Festival. We look forward to working with all of you in January.

Thomas L. Rothacker
CUNY Kingsborough Community College
Chair for Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship & Chair of Respondents
Region 1
Email: tomkcactf1@gmail.com

Richard Piatt
Merrimack College
Vice Chair for Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship
Region 1
Email: IreneRyanCoChairReg1@gmail.com

The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, part of the Rubenstein Arts Access Program, is generously funded by David and Alice Rubenstein.

Special thanks to The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust for supporting the John F. Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts’ Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.

Additional support is provided by The Honorable Stuart Bernstein and Wilma E. Bernstein; the Dr. Gerald and Paula McNichols Foundation; Beatrice and Anthony Welters and the AnBryce Foundation. Kennedy Center education and related artistic programming is made possible through the generosity of the National Committee for the Performing Arts and the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts.