Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association

Teach/adjudicate the next generation of sound designers! Application at the bottom of this post.

The goals of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KC/ACTF) include:

  • To encourage, recognize, and celebrate the finest and most diverse work produced in university and college theater programs;
  • To provide opportunities for participants to develop their theater skills and insight and achieve professionalism.

Learn more about the organization here:

From Artistic Director Gregg Henry: “We really need strong teaching artists with real chops as theatre-makers to respond to the work – both as truth-tellers and to help lift these kids up.” Christopher Plummer,  Co-Vice Chair Regional Design, Technology & Management of KC/ACTF,  points out that “some festivals have significant numbers of underrepresented populations and this is one way we might encourage them to stick with the profession and give them a sense that it can be a real job.”

There are 8 regional festivals at different locations throughout the year from early January through March. Right now we are putting together a list of people who would be willing to be invited. The dates and location of the actual commitment would be attached to those specific invitations. Plummer believes that through participating in KCACTF, TSDCA can raise the bar for sound students and show other designers what we can bring to the process.

At each session students bring work to be adjudicated. Various TSDCA members have already been involved with the program: Matt Tibbs was excited by the number of LatinX sound designers he saw in region 8, while Amy Altadonna wrote that it affected her work in her own classroom, in particular developing her students’ research skills when faced with unfamiliar socio-cultural experiences and developing presentation and communication skills. She says “the whole experience was very gratifying and useful, and a lot of fun.”(See pictures of Amy’s workshops below, as well as one of Philip Owen’s students – who was awarded honorable mention in region 6).

Gregg Henry: “Some regions’ design programs are quite large and thriving, some struggle. With this comes a wide range of “tiers”- in some regions, there’s a preliminary round of feedback, a semi-final and a final round—in our largest regional programs, the response teams change depending on the “round”.” Matt Tibbs: The students you work with may have had no guidance at all  – or be part of a fully fledged program. It is an opportunity to take them to the next step, and a challenge to the teacher/presenter to quickly assess where they are and encourage their development as creative story tellers.

On April 12th Christopher Plummer will be meeting with the KC/ACTF board and has agreed to bring all interested TSDCA members to the attention of the regional chairs.

If you are an adjudicator or teacher, KC/ACTF pays travel, hotel & meals, and a modest honorarium of up to $600. Honorariums vary with the budgets and procedures of every region.

Why do it?

Meet the next generation, encourage a diverse community of young people, develop your teaching skills, add to your resumé.

What could I teach/do? 

Possible topics include: Portfolio review, discuss sound as an integral part of the collaborative team, talk about life as a sound designer, how to get your feet wet as a composer, basic Qlab, system paperwork, and develop individually tailored responses to students from a variety of backgrounds. TSDCA member Jeremy Lee has taught sessions in SMAART and acoustics.

Interested? Fill out the following:

KCACTF Potential Adjudicator/Teacher

  • Max. file size: 25 MB.


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