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The Birds cast members acting out a scene in a theatre

Taylor Theatre Receives National Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Awards

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the cast of The Birds in costume and makeup

Photos are courtesy of Chloe Gard. 

The Taylor Theatre production of The Birds has earned the highest awards from The National Awards Committee for productions showcased at the 2023 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festivals (KCACTF).

After seeing performances in September 2022, KCACTF respondents nominated Taylor Theatre for acceptance into the Regional Festival as part of Region III (Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana). At the festival this year, respondents saw the final performance of Taylor Theatre’s The Birds on January 14, 2023, at the Capitol Theatre in Flint, Michigan. After seeing over 50 productions at festivals nationwide, the KCACTF National Awards Committee presented Taylor Theatre’s production of The Birds these national awards:

The Birds, which tells the story of a dystopian society in which birds turn on humans, was originally a novella written by author Daphne du Maurier. The story received worldwide acclaim when it was turned into a motion picture by director Alfred Hitchcock. The play, produced by Irish playwright Conor McPherson, is also an adaptation of the novella.

Production Awards:

  • Distinguished Production of a Play
  • Distinguished Performance Ensemble of a Play
  • Distinguished Achievement in Production Design

Individual Awards:

  • Distinguished Director of a Play: Tracy Manning
  • Distinguished Achievement in Scenic Design: Conner Reagan
  • Distinguished Achievement in Stage Management:  Lindsay Rice & Angie DeStefano
  • Distinguished Achievement in Sound Design: Steven Day
  • Distinguished Achievement in Lighting Design: Matt Pierce
  • Distinguished Achievement in Dramaturgy: Susannah Quinn
  • Distinguished Performance by an Actor in a Play: Aidan Merck

“I’m so grateful we have been recognized by KCACTF – blown away really,” said Professor Tracy Manning, the Managing and Artistic Director of Theatre. “I am proud for Taylor University to get national recognition in the arts. I am thankful to work with such dedicated student artists who engage difficult material, celebrate one another, and worship their Creator through the creative act of playmaking."

“Theatre is a wonderful vehicle for sharing stories and also teaching our students about the broad scope of life experiences they will encounter throughout life,” she added. “For nearly 100 years our theatre program has used drama, music, and comedy to tell stories that have changed the lives of our students and given the audiences hours of profound reflection. This honor is a welcome affirmation and validation of the hard work of our students, faculty, staff, and the many who came before us.”

Manning added that by participating in the competition, Taylor Theatre is sharing in the KCACTF’s educational goals to recognize, reward, and celebrate the exemplary work produced in college and university theaters across the nation.

About Taylor Theatre:

Taylor Theatre provides an immersive experience for audiences and participants by pursuing excellence on and off the stage, embracing difficulty and asking questions in pursuit of truth.