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CUI’s Theatre Department Triumphant at Annual KCACTF Region 8 Festival

CUI’s Theatre Department Triumphant at Annual KCACTF Region 8 Festival
Christopher Aceves, Jr.

IRVINE, Calif. (February 25, 2022)—This year Concordia University Irvine’s theatre department members came away with several successes at the annual Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) Region 8 festival.

Student Christopher Aceves, Jr. ‘22 won the National Costume Design Award for his work in the January production, Endgame. He also took home the Students' Choice Award for costume design. This means he will move on to have his work considered against other regional winners from around the country to compete for a national award.

Aceves says that this win means the world to him. He has constantly challenged himself to try new forms of art and use different materials throughout his life. Going into college, Aceves knew he wanted to enter the world of theatrical design but was not sure which area he was called to until he found costuming. “This win to me has solidified within me that ‘I can do this!’ It's different, it's fun, and I get to encapsulate a whole character's world by crafting what they look like with my own two hands,” Aceves exclaimed.


"Christopher's design work, just like his work as a student, reveals a person who is always questioning, who is excited to try new things, and who wants to use his work to mesh with a production’s vision and with the work of his fellow designers. He makes costumes that not only dress actors but help actors find their characters,” said Tony Vezner, Theatre Professor and Endgame Director. “His attention to detail and the overall feel of a show is inspiring and makes him a joy to collaborate with each time we work together."

Each year the KCACTF Region 8 Festival brings students and faculty from colleges across the Western United States together in mid-February to see one another’s work and share ideas. In addition to performances, a wide range of activities take place, including workshops and seminars on playwriting, auditioning, voice, movement, stage combat, scene painting, scenery, and so on.

Other notable mentions include Matthew Cristobal ‘23 and Anna Martin ‘24, who made it into the final cabaret of 19 students as part of the Musical Theatre Initiative festival performance. Additionally, duo Meg Rocha and Mathew Cristobal were selected as finalists out of hundreds of entries in the Irene Ryan Scholarship Audition acting competition.

"We are incredibly proud of our students who rose to the occasion and did excellent work despite the pandemic and the resulting challenges to making theatre at this time,” Theatre Department Chair and Professor Lori Siekmann remarked.

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