By Jess Ward
Lifestyle & Politics Editor
What do a sound designer, clock maker, and theater reviewer have in common? All three St. Michael’s students were recognized at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival during the last week of January for their work that contributed to the theater.
It all starts when representatives from the KCAC organization are invited to see theatrical performances put on by colleges and universities all across the country to see if any aspect of the show stands out to them. Students responsible for those remarkable details are nominated for awards and are invited to participate in the regional festival where they compete for such accolades. The organization has helped over 20,000 students nation-wide develop their skills in different aspects of the field since 1969. The New England chapter of the festival was held at the Western Connecticut State University.
“In truth, I was not expecting to win anything. I wanted to use this opportunity to get a lay of the land” said Sage Fagbohun ’20, who won a scholarship for an internship at the Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas for sound production. “It was surreal. When he said my name, I was, for lack of a better term, shooketh.” Fagbohun will be spending two weeks in Las Vegas this summer, in hopes of networking with leading industry professionals. Fagbohun was the sound designer for the St. Michael’s College production of Mill Girls. To make this happen, he recorded and created sound effects, ordered additional sound equipment as needed, and live-mixed the show. Fagbohun is the reason the audio was crystal clear for the audience to hear during the production.
Kate Bell ’20 received an honorable mention in Allied Crafts for the grandfather clock she had painted for the stage production of The Arsonists, which ran at St. Michael’s College last spring. “The set was an absurdist style, and my professor gave me a sketch of what he wanted and just basically said ‘make this’, and I did. I’d say it worked out pretty well.”
Kelly Champlain ’20 was the runner-up for excellence in the National Institute Journalism and Advocacy, which is a critic’s workshop for those interested in theatre journalism. During her time at the festival, she wrote a review for the shows being presented at the festival. With her hard work and journalistc integrity, she was granted this great honor.
“You have an opportunity to see what other people do, how they do it, and how we measure up to them” said John Devlin, the advisor for the St. Michael’s College trip to the festival. “Not everybody who’s a theatre major is going to be in the business 30 years down the road. Many of the people winning these accolades will be continuing with theatre thirty years down the line.”