Illinois College theatre production to perform at regional festival


Illinois College’s theatre production of “The Caucasian Chalk Circle” was selected to be a part of “The Evening of Scenes” at the 2014 Region III Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Michigan.

“This is really exciting,” Nancy Taylor Porter, director, said. “I have been to the conference before and have seen other schools perform, and I always thought it would be so rewarding if one day Illinois College would be a part of this.”

Region III’s annual festival takes place January 7-11 at Saginaw Valley State University and features institutions from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. Illinois College will perform a 10-minute scene from “The Caucasian Chalk Circle.”

German playwright Bertolt Brecht wrote “The Caucasian Chalk Circle” in 1944 while he was living in the United States. Taylor Porter’s adaptation of the play was performed at Illinois College in November. During that production run, Christopher Mitchell, professor at Eastern Illinois University, was the respondent to the production and nominated it for inclusion of “The Evening of Scenes.” A selection committee then chose this production from those nominated.

“He liked the way I took the overall principles of the original and updated it,” Taylor Porter said.

“The Caucasian Chalk Circle” is about a peasant girl who puts her life and love on the line to protect a child abandoned by a wealthy ruler in time of war. Azdak, an ironic and disillusioned revolutionary, ultimately becomes the judge in the child's custody battle. A friend to the poor, he understands motherhood and justice.

Illinois College students who will be performing are seniors Logan Giesing and Taylor Molandro, juniors Allen Miggins and Lucas Chamberlain, sophomores Tyler Gillson and Drew Stroud, and first-year student Brandon Coniglio.

About Illinois College
Founded in 1829, Illinois College is a residential liberal arts college fostering academic excellence rooted in opportunities for experiential learning while preparing students for lifelong success. The college is located in Jacksonville, Ill. With an enrollment of nearly 1,000 students, the college offers over 50 undergraduate programs and a Master of Arts in Education degree program. In 1932 the society of Phi Beta Kappa established a chapter at Illinois College, and it remains one of only 11 in the state.

Illinois College is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. Visit or call 217-245-3048 for more information.

About the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival
Started in 1969 by Roger L. Stevens, the Kennedy Center's founding chairman, the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (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.

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.


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