Theater festival draws hundreds to Mid-Michigan - WSMV Channel 4

Theater festival draws hundreds to Mid-Michigan

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

Students hoping to make it big in the world of theater are in Saginaw this week for a nationally recognized festival. Nearly 1,300 students from 67 colleges across the region are making their way to Saginaw Valley State University, the host of this year's Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Ric Roberts, associate professor of theater at SVSU, says the event covers every element of the theater.

"They work in competitions across the gamut of theater, from stage management, costume design, technical design, choreography and acting. You name it, it is covered here at the festival."

From Tuesday through Saturday, aspiring actors, like Cassidy Morey, will attend workshops and auditions - showcasing their talent hoping to advance to the national festival in Washington, D.C., this spring.

"We go up and we perform a three-minute scene for prelims. So, it goes today and tomorrow. That's what I'll be doing today."

The student's presence is being felt even beyond the stage. The festival is expected to bring a big boost to the local economy.

Megan Boyle, of Residence Inn and Springhill Suites, says business is typically slow this time of year, but not this week.

"Due to the festival, both the Residence Inn and Springhill Suites are completely sold out for these two weeks. It's doing awesome impact with room rates and revenue."

Roberts says the festival is also known for giving young actor's careers a boost.

"In 2010 when we hosted, one of our top 10 students won the regional festival and the national festival. His entire professional career was kicked started by that. He was hired by one of the best theater companies in the world," said Roberts.

With theater professionals in Mid-Michigan this week from Chicago and even Hollywood - theater students are hoping to break a leg. "I've worked really hard and I'm excited to show off what I have," said Morey.

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