Regional Conference Brings 1,000 Attendees


University of Oregon Hosts Theater Festival

The University of Oregon Department of Theatre Arts plays host to the 2019 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region VII February 18-22.

Eugene-Springfield welcomes more than 1,000 attendees to the community for this special gathering at the University of Oregon. Participants arrive on February 17, get settled and then get started with sessions on acting, musical theatre, directing, theatre journalism, set design, technology and management, and a national playwriting program where participants compete.  

"We are thrilled and honored to have the American College Theater Festival coming to Eugene-Springfield," noted Janis Ross, Vice President of Convention and Sports Marketing at Travel Lane County. "The University of Oregon is a tremendous host and the economic impact created is welcomed by area businesses at this time of year."   

Regional festivals occur each January and February and are followed by the national festival in April when students from all 8 regions of the United States will gather at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.  

Patrick Dizney,Chair KCACTF Region VII, commented, “Eugene is a perfect location for our regional festival: centrally located within the 9 state region, loaded with great eateries, easy to navigate, fairly mild weather in winter and really friendly people. The University of Oregon is ideally suited to host our festival, with the wonderfully renovated EMU, a beautiful theatre facility in the Miller Theatre Complex and a host of hotels and restaurants around the campus. Oregon Contemporary Theatre is also generously supporting our festival, hosting numerous activities throughout the week. We love Eugene for it’s walkability, ease of navigation, eclectic dining choices and down to earth vibe.”

Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region VII Contact: Patrick Dizney[email protected], 503.449.2112

About the Kennedy Center American College Theater:

Started in 1969 by Roger L. Stevens, the Kennedy Center's founding chairman, the Kennedy Center American College Theater (KCACTF) is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide which 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.

The goals of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival are:

To encourage, recognize, and celebrate the finest and most diverse work produced in university and college theater programs;

To provide opportunities for participants to develop their theater skills and insight; and achieve professionalism

To improve the quality of college and university theater in America;

To encourage colleges and universities to give distinguished productions of new plays, especially those written by students; the classics, revitalized or newly conceived; and experimental works.   


Through state, regional, and national festivals, KCACTF participants celebrate the creative process, see one another's work, and share experiences and insights within the community of theater artists. The KCACTF honors excellence of overall production and offers student artists individual recognition through awards and scholarships in playwriting, acting, criticism, directing, and design.

KCACTF is a year-round program in eight geographic regions in the United States. Regional activities are coordinated through eight KCACTF regional chairs and eight KCACTF playwriting awards chairs. With funding and administrative support from the Kennedy Center, the regional chair coordinates with the Co-Managers of KCACTF all aspects of the adjudication of productions on the local and regional level and supervises regional-level KCACTF award competitions. The playwriting chair works with schools that have entered new and student-written plays by providing expertise in the development of new scripts--assessment specifically designed for a developing play--and by providing information on the numerous playwriting awards offered.

In January and February of each year, regional festivals showcase the finest of each region's entered productions and offer a variety of activities, including workshops, symposia, and regional-level award programs.

Since its inception, KCACTF has given more than 400,000 college theater students the opportunity to have their work critiqued, improve their dramatic skills and receive national recognition for excellence. More than 16 million theatergoers have attended approximately 10,000 festival productions nationwide.