Audiences weren’t the only ones thoroughly thrilled with North Central College’s musical “Thoroughly Modern Millie. ”It thrilled judges who selected the production as a regional finalist in the nation’s prestigious Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. It thrilled the student cast, orchestra and crew, too.
“This was definitely the best dance, theatrical or musical experience I’ve ever had in my life!” Tommy Rivera–Vega ’11 told Brian Lynch, director/choreographer and fine arts director.
Cheers were heard across campus as the play’s 34 cast, 18 orchestra and 32 crew members boarded two buses in front of Pfieffer Hall on January 9, bound for their January 10 festival performance at Milwaukee’s historic Pabst Theatre. At the festival, a contingent of more than 40 alumni, staff and family members attended a reception and then enjoyed the performance, which received a standing ovation from the audience.
The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival showcases the best of college theatre involving 18,000 students from more than 600 academic institutions. More than 1,300 entries were submitted for this year’s consideration. North Central was selected to participate within Region III, considered one of the program’s most competitive. Other Region III schools selected included DePaul University, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and Michigan State University. Fewer than 10 productions will be chosen to perform at the renowned John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., in April.
“We’re thrilled to have been selected for the regional competition,” Lynch said. He and Jeordano Martinez, musical director and professor of music, praised the strength and depth of the students involved.
“Everyone—from the smallest chorus part to the leading roles, the orchestra, and the crew—performed with complete involvement and dedication,” Martinez said.
Kennedy Festival Region III co-chair Sandi Zielinski said judges look for artistry and artistic excellence at all levels—from acting, lighting, sets, orchestra and singing—in selecting participants. “The College should be very proud of everyone coming together to produce such a delightful show that audiences from five states had the opportunity to see,” she said.
North Central NOW Winter 2008