We have exciting news about the future of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival! On August 5, 2008, the National Committee of KCACTF voted unanimously to reorganize the 8 KCACTF Regions. The vote was unanimous by the voting members of the National Committee, including every Regional Chair. KCACTF has been discussing the possibility of this reorganization for many years and we are delighted that it has come to pass. We are all convinced that the new regional boundaries will be a great improvement for our organization for many years to come.
|1 The new Region 1 has added the NE part of New York state to the region. It now consists of: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and NE New York.|
|2 The new Region 2 has lost the NE part of New York state, but retains the SW part of New York. It has also added the state of Ohio, West Virginia, and the northern part of Virginia. It now consists of: SW New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC, northern Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio.|
|3 The new Region 3 has lost Ohio. It now consists of Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois.|
|4 The new Region 4 has lost West Virginia and northern Virginia. It now consists of Kentucky, southern Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida.|
|5 The new Region 5 has lost Missouri. It now consists of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas.|
|6 The new Region 6 has added Missouri. It now consists of New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and Missouri.|
|7 The new Region 7 has added the northern parts of California and Nevada. It now consists of Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, northern California and northern Nevada.|
|8 The new Region 8 has lost the northern parts of California and Nevada. It now consists of southern parts of California, southern Nevada, Utah, Arizona and Hawaii.|
|National Properties: While Alaska and Hawaii will remain, technically, as members of Regions 7 and 8, respectively, they will be designated as National Properties to help those regions with the high expenses involved in sending respondents to those states. This means that the Kennedy Center will work with Regional Chairs in Regions 7 and 8 to coordinate respondents and expenses to Alaska and Hawaii.|
WHY IS REGIONAL REORGANIZATION IMPORTANT?
It’s been over 15 years since KCACTF last re-drew regional boundary lines and in those years some patterns have become very clear. Every year, some current regions have many more associate and participating entries, as well as many more Regional Festival attendees, than other regions. In fact, some regions regularly have more than twice as many entries and attendees than other regions. The pattern is clear year after year: some of our regions have grown “too large,” while others remain “too small,” based primarily on the number of colleges and universities available to enter in each region with the current regional boundaries.
This inequity is of concern to everyone in the country – it makes it more difficult for schools in the larger regions to be recognized for their students’ outstanding work (productions, playwriting, acting, design, etc.) because the number of entries is so much higher. This inequity makes it tougher for the smaller regions, as well. For example, some of them annually struggle to put together a top-notch slate of participating entries for the Regional Festival, or to find excellent representatives to send to the Kennedy Center in the various scholarship programs, because the pool of participants is so small.
So the primary goal in reorganization was to re-draw regional boundary lines in such a way that, based on recent trends and statistics, the eight regions would be somewhat closer to one another in number of entries and festival attendees. Of course the regions won’t all be equal, but we’re convinced they will be closer and that was the goal.
To accomplish this, some regions are larger geographically, and some are smaller. In some cases, we have moved entire states to a neighboring region. In other cases, we have drawn new regional boundary lines that cut across state lines. The National Committee took into account all of the ramifications of these new boundaries that we could, and while we acknowledge that there will be some growing pains as we adjust to these new regions, we are convinced that in the long-term the organization has been greatly improved.
WHAT ARE THE DETAILS OF THE REORGANIZATION?
Each of the 8 regions has changed. The best way to “see” the new regional organization is to look at the new KCACTF Regional Map at the top of this page. You should be able to zoom in on this map to see exactly where regional boundary lines have been drawn, especially those that now cut across state lines.
WHEN DOES THE REORGANIZATION GO INTO EFFECT?
As you no doubt realize, the Festival works on the calendar year, not the academic year. We are currently in the middle of screening and responding to entries for Festival 41, which covers the calendar year of 2008. The Regional Festivals which will occur in January and February of 2009 are the culmination of Festival 41 in the regions, the activity which occurred in 2008. Of course, there will be no changes for Festival 41, for the calendar year 2008, or for the Regional Festivals which occur in 2009.
The new regional boundaries will go into effect for Festival 42, which will begin with associate and participating entries which are entered for the calendar year 2009 – next January. The first set of regional festivals which will reflect the newly formed regions will occur in January and February of 2010.
If you have already entered productions for the spring semester of 2009, and you now find yourself in a different region, simply contact your current regional chair. They will help you navigate the changes you need to make in your registration and help answer any questions you may have about your new regional residence.
We’re not going to post the new regional map on the KCACTF.org website right now, to help avoid confusion. We’re going to leave only the current map on that website. So you might want to save this email with the new map for future reference about the reorganization.
REGIONAL FESTIVAL FLEXIBILITY
It has always been the policy of KCACTF to allow schools to enter and participate in a region other than the one in which they are located. This most frequently happens because of the proximity of a regional festival. For example, there have been instances in years past when a Region 5 Festival scheduled in St. Louis drew entries from southern and central Illinois because that festival was so much closer to those schools than the scheduled Region 3 Festival in Michigan or Ohio. This policy is not a “secret” and Regional Chairs have done their best to let all entering universities know about it.
In the new configuration, there may be times when your college or university will find it more desirable to enter their productions in a region other than the one in which your school is located. This open policy of regional “hopping” will remain intact and all you need to do to enter or participate “out of region,” is to indicate accurately which region you’re entering in when you fill out your on-line entry form. It’s also helpful to contact both regional chairs to make sure they understand that you’re “hopping.”
One of the problems created by regional reorganization is that all of the regions have regional officers already in the pipeline: Regional Vice Chairs, Regional Playwriting Vice Chairs, and Regional Design & Technology Vice Chairs, some of whom now find themselves no longer living in the region in which they were chosen to serve. We’ve asked the Regional Chairs to talk with these leaders and work out the best possible scenario for them on a case-by-case basis. We deeply appreciate all of the great volunteer leaders who do such wonderful work to make our regions function smoothly, and we apologize for any of those who have been inconvenienced by this reorganization.
While the National Committee of KCACTF is very excited about these changes, we recognize that all of our constituents may not share our enthusiasm. Change is always difficult, and we’re aware that some old regional ties and friendships will be inevitably altered by this reorganization. However, we are convinced that – in time – these new regional boundaries will deeply improve the Festival nationwide, and that all of us will have opportunities to meet new regional partners and/or become involved in regional leadership in new and fruitful ways.
The Regional Chairs have all agreed to schedule an open meeting at each of their Regional Festivals next spring to allow regional schools a chance to ask more questions about the reorganization. Perhaps you have already thought of issues that haven’t occurred to us, and which we need to hear. The National Committee will make sure that we have an Executive Committee member at each of these Regional open meetings, along with your Regional Chair, to listen to what you have to say. Of course, you don’t have to wait until then to contact us, but we’ll be there at your Regional Festival to hear what you have to say to us face-to-face.
We hope you’ll choose to join our sense of excitement about a national KCACTF map that includes 8 regions which are far more equitable. We’re convinced this reorganization is a major positive step forward for all of us, and especially for your talented students whose work we want to recognize in the best way possible.
Dr. Harry B. Parker
Chair, TCU Department of Theatre
National Chair, Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival
PO Box 297510
Fort Worth, TX 76129