You've seen the posts on Facebook - the 2017 National AACTFest was a wonderful experience, full of activity! The collage below gives you an idea of the fullness of the event: shows, workshops, networking, camaraderie, food and drinks, and other fun activities. Here's the rundown...
The National AACTFest (American Association of Community Theatres) took place in Rochester, MN. Twelve shows from across the country (and one from a US Army base in Belgium) performed. Each show had a load-in time, rehearsal time, two performances, a loud-out time, and an adjudication. Our production schedule looked like this:
- Load-in: Monday 9:00pm
- Rehearsal: Tuesday 8:30am (includes a tech meeting)
- Performances: Wednesday afternoon and evening (evening performance is adjudicated)
- Load-out: Wednesday 11:00pm
- Adjudication: Thursday 12:00pm
Additional activities by FungusAmongus members:
- Jim Veith's magnificent radio was entered in a Design Contest. While it didn't place, it never failed to draw an "ooh" from the passers-by.
- Kurt Schulz entered the Monologue competition with his opening piece from "Voice of the Prairie". He didn't place, but he did receive recognition for his stage performance - more on that later.
- Dave Metcalf facilitated a "Swashbuckling" workshop, assisted by Tom Langemo. Participants were introduced to basic techniques for SAFE sword fighting, falling, and "dirty tricks" on stage. They then paired off, sword in hand, to learn a set of moves demonstrated by the two Fun-guys :)
In between activities, the FungusAmongus Players met new people from other companies and the AACT organization, hung out with friends from the MACT (Minnesota Association of Community Theatres) and Region V AACT group. We also ate incredible food - really, Rochester has some wonderful estashments.
At the end of it all, there is a gala where all the awards are given - kind of like the Tony Awards, but for community theatre! As you've seen on Facebook, we received the following nominations (no wins):
- Costume - Linda Metcalf
- Sound - Chris Halstead
- Direction - Dave Metcalf
- Featured Actor/Actress - Shara Marquez and Kurt Schulz
"Addams Family" from Tacoma Musical Playhouse pretty much took home most of the hardware - it was a delightful show. The guy who played Lurch was a kind soul that some of us got to know. He was hilarious on stage. Anyway, we're thrilled for them! If you're interested in who got what, you can find a full list here: https://www.aact.org/aactfest-2017-festival-awards.
The adjudications were fantastic - thoughtful, direct, intelligent adjudicators who gave us new ways to think about...everything!
Ultimately, we do theatre to tell a story of who we are as human beings - the good, bad, and ugly of it all. Sometimes it's raw. Sometimes hilarious. Sometimes breath-taking. Sometimes frightening. But our focus, regardless of whether we "win", must be on telling the story in a way that moves others. Every show is a dialogue with our audience, and we think we had a profound conversation with them in Rochester!
Which brings this whole journey to you, our audience, fans, friends, and family. It seems cliche, but it's true - we would NOT have made it this far without you. You've been there emotionally, physically, financially - propping us up when we're tired, cheering us on, giving of yourself so that we can give more of ourselves. It's invaluable. Thank you so much!