American College Theatre Festival

The Kennedy Centere American College Theatre Festival (KC/ACTF) is an annual national competition that recognizes excellence in college theatre. UNH is a member of Region I (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont) and rotates to serve as the regional host. Regional theatre competitions continue throughout the USA until the end of February. A National Selection Team (compromised of academic and non-academic theatre professionals) select four to six of the best and most diverse regional productions for advancement to the national competition. National competitions take place at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships

In 1972 the Irene Ryan Foundation was established in Encino , California through the generosity of the late Irene Ryan. She died in 1973 and can best remembered for her portrayal of 'Granny Clampett' in "The Beverly Hillbillies." The Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships are awarded to outstanding student performers at each regional KC/ACTF. Each college or university in the KC/ACTF competition can nominate one student (per production) for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship. This is an on-going competition. Only two actors are chosen from the regional competition (winning $500). The winners advance to the KC/ACTF national competition to take part in the Evening of scenes which is viewed by leading directors, producers, and casting agents. Each region takes part on this level of competition (16 representatives) and only two will win the additional $2500 scholarship.

The University/Resident Theatre Associate (U/RTA)

Regional winners of the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship will also be invited by the University/Resident Theatre Associate (U/RTA) to attend their final auditions at the annual National Unified Auditions and Interviews (NUA/IS). The U/RTA, NUA/IS provide the opportunity to vie for numerous positions with professional training programs at leading graduation schools across the country, for seasonal employment with summer theatre companies, and for Shakespeare festivals and other professional producing organizations.

National finalists are also eligible for consideration for:

  • Cash awards through the Mark Twain Comedy Acting Award
  • The KC/ACTF Classical Acting Award
  • Fellowships to the National Stage Combat Workshop, the Williamstown Theater Festival (minority candidates), and the Shakespeare Summer Classical Acting Workshop
  • The Kingsley Colton Award (given to the best partner appearing in the evening of scenes)