Leveling Up cast (click for larger image)

Production receives Kennedy Center nomination

The Bethany Lutheran College Theatre Department has received notice that a recent production titled Leveling Up has been selected for performance at the Region V Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) in January 2016. KCACTF Region V includes the states of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Roughly 1,500 students and faculty attend the KCACTF Region V Festival from 80 colleges and universities.

Leveling Up was first performed on Bethany’s Lee Theater stage in November 2015. At that time, representatives from the KCACTF viewed and responded to Leveling Up and recommended the work to be held for consideration for performance at the annual festival. Assistant Professor of Theatre Benji Inniger directed the play. Other faculty and staff involved with the design of the production included Peter Bloedel, Emily Kimball, John Merseth, and Jake Yenish.

The KCACTF Festival production of Leveling Up will be performed at the Normandale Community College Theater on Thursday, January 21, 2015, at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 7 p.m. This will be a full set production, which will be loaded on a truck on January 20 and reassembled for the performance at Normandale.

In preparation for the festival performance, Leveling Up will be performed in Bethany’s Lee Theater on Saturday, January 16, 2016, at 4 p.m. Tickets will be $10 ($6 for seniors and students). Tickets can be reserved online or by calling 507-344-7365.

Leveling Up is one of six productions from Region V institutions to be invited. Other institutions chosen for this honor include: Minnesota State University Moorhead, Emporia State University, Southwest Minnesota State University, University of Nebraska at Omaha, and Wichita State University.

In addition to the Leveling Up performance, five student actors (Hans Bloedel, Emily Dworak, Leah Hagen, David Roemhildt, and Tessa Snyder) will be participating in the Irene Ryan scholarship audition, Kasey Gratz will be participating in the stage management program, and Molly Brueske will be participating in the dramaturgy program.

Another indication Bethany’s strength in theatre is demonstrated with the additional nomination of the spring 2015 production of Metamorphoses for the KCACTF Region V Invited Scenes Showcase. This means Bethany was nominated to choose a scene from the Metamorphoses production and perform it on a bare stage at the festival. Because of the Leveling Up obligations, Bethany was not asked to bring that scene.

The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide and has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college theater in the United States. The KCACTF has grown into a network of more than 600 academic institutions throughout the country, where theater departments and student artists showcase their work and receive outside assessment by KCACTF respondents.