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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Theatre Northwest will attend festival in Shreveport

Photos+by+Haylie+Jones%2FThe+Collegian++Cast+members+prepare+for+their+performance+in+Shreveport%2C+La.%2C+later+this+month.+Theatre+Northwest+is+one+of+six+schools+and+the+only+community+college+representing+the+region+at+the+American+College+Theatre+Festival.+
Photos by Haylie Jones/The Collegian Cast members prepare for their performance in Shreveport, La., later this month. Theatre Northwest is one of six schools and the only community college representing the region at the American College Theatre Festival.

By Tabitha Redder/nw news editor

Photos by Haylie Jones/The Collegian  Cast members prepare for their performance in Shreveport, La., later this month. Theatre Northwest is one of six schools and the only community college representing the region at the American College Theatre Festival.
Photos by Haylie Jones/The Collegian Cast members prepare for their performance in Shreveport, La., later this month. Theatre Northwest is one of six schools and the only community college representing the region at the American College Theatre Festival.

Thanks to good acting and a stroke of good luck, Theatre Northwest will perform at the American College Theatre Festival Feb. 26 in Shreveport, La.

All but two shows of The Good Woman of Szechwan were canceled in December because of an ice storm that caused most of North Texas to miss multiple days of work and school.

After the first performance of the production, the ice storm hit and closed campus, resulting in a cancellation of the rest of the show’s run scheduled for that weekend as well.

Disappointed but determined, Theatre Northwest managed to scrape together respondents, college drama faculty who come to see a show and give feedback, for the last showing a few days later.

“A couple of faculty from Texas Christian University, who were affiliated with the American College Theatre Festival, dropped everything to be respondents for our show,”  director and drama associate professor Josh Blann said. “At this point, we weren’t even remotely thinking that performing in Shreveport was an option. We just wanted to give our students a chance to get a response.”

But even with the students being away from the stage for almost a week, the respondents recommended the show for invitation to the regional committee. When the committee met three days later to invite six shows, The Good Woman of Szechwan was one of them.

“So after thinking we were only going to be able to perform the show two times, there was a pretty drastic turn of events,” Blann said. “We are thrilled.”

TCC is the only two-year school invited to perform at the festival. It’s rare for a two-year school to perform, Blann said. Others performing are Oklahoma City University and Southeast Missouri State University. 

Though their ticket to the festival is secured, work isn’t over for the actors. The theater they will perform in at the festival seats about 1,500, which is a significant change from the 176-seater at NW.

“We started trying to build our stamina because there are some song numbers that we don’t want to be heaving for air during the performance,” actor Kelsey Busboom said. “Part of your job as an actor is being able to project your voice to fill up a 1,500-seat house.”

The cast has even taken a trip to Northwest High School to take advantage of its larger theater to prepare for performing at the festival.

“The biggest challenge with big theater is sometimes you’re so focused on making sure that you’re being heard so someone doesn’t miss something,” actor Ryan Sanders said. “But you still have to remember to act.”

Actor Justin Jones said that the cast is focusing on rehearsals and working on things that there wasn’t time previously to improve in hopes of making the show even better for the festival.

The cast has a condensed amount of time to unload all the scenery and props, set them up and don makeup and costumes before they perform.

“The goal here is that we don’t run out of energy by the time it’s time for us to actually be on stage,” said Casey Magin, who plays the lead of Shen-Te/Shui-Ta.

The cast is eager to perform, but at the same time realizes how significant the show will be.

“We’ve got really big shoes to fill at this festival,” Jones said.

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