For the second year in a row, students of Spokane Falls Community College's esteemed theater program will be performing a play at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region 7 Conference.
But unlike previous years where actors and actresses were invited to perform a "spotlight show," this year's students will be performing the entirety of the production of "Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus," written by actor and playwright Taylor Mac.
This distinction means participating students Megan Jones, Jaz Vega and Sarah Plum -- who star in the play -- will be eligible for awards through the national KCACTF committee. Students Kat Snyder and Sonia Schwab are also attending.
"We were recognized as one of only five schools out of region, and that comprises the entire West Coast, Hawaii and Alaska," said Ashley DeMoville, department chair of Communication Arts and Modern Languages and director of the play. "So to be recognized among only five schools is a real honor."
Normally held at Colorado State University and featuring colleges and universities from across the Western United States, this year's festival will be held remotely from Feb. 17 through Feb. 20.
Like many theater productions this past year during the COVID-19 pandemic, SFCC's theater program had to pivot to remote productions, which introduced a unique set of challenges and hardships.
"Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus" was one of two productions that premiered in the fall of 2020, alongside "Another One," written by theater instructor Chris Hansen.
DeMoville said the process of rehearsing over Zoom, buying webcams for performers and setting up green screens was like "jumping into an abyss" and a challenge worth conquering.
"It was exciting and terrifying," she said. "And then to have what we came up with be recognized makes me even more proud than most years."