WCSU’s 'Parade' earns 14 awards at Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

DANBURY, CONN. —When the Western Connecticut State University Department of Theatre Arts hosted the Region One Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) in late January, everyone knew it would be an exciting event. Western would get to show off its stunning Visual and Performing Arts Center and at the same time demonstrate the talents of its students with a festival performance of “Parade,” the musical theatre program’s fall production.

No one could have anticipated just how exciting it would turn out to be: Western’s production earned 14 national awards from the KCACTF judges and an invitation for director Tim Howard and lead performers Shaylen Harger and Matthew Grasso to attend the national KCACTF festival in Washington, D.C., to perform and accept the awards next month.

Western’s award winners are listed below. Congratulations!

Outstanding Production of a Musical – “Parade” 
Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Musical – Shaylen Harger 
Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Musical – Matthew Grasso
Outstanding Director of a Musical – Tim Howard 
Outstanding Choreography – Tim Howard and Elizabeth Parkinson 
Distinguished Performance by an Actor in a Musical – D’Jarious Allen 
Distinguished Performance and Production Ensemble – Parade 
Distinguished Costume Design – Irene Thelen 
Distinguished Lighting Design – Scott Cally 
Distinguished Sound Design and Engineering – Zachary Charles 

Commendation certificates of achievement for:
Jared Starkey, Performance 
Jillian Caillouette, Performance 
Tom Cuffari, Musical Direction 
Brionna Ingraham, Stage Management 



Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.


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