WCSU wins 11 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival awards
University’s theatre arts program takes home major national awards again

DANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University Department of Theatre Arts hosted the Region One Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) in late January for the second year in a row, and the outcome proved that “once-in-a-lifetime” occurrences can happen more than once. Western again had the opportunity 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 “The Drowsy Chaperone,” the musical theatre program’s fall production.

Last year’s 14 national KCACTF awards for “Parade” was unprecedented for any university theatre arts program. This year’s production of “The Drowsy Chaperone” earned 11 national awards from the KCACTF judges and an invitation for director Tim Howard and student Jillian Caillouette, of Meriden, to attend the national KCACTF festival in Washington, D.C., to accept the awards next month.

Western’s awards this year include:

Outstanding Production of a Musical – “The Drowsy Chaperone” 
Outstanding Director of a Musical – Tim Howard 
Outstanding Choreography – Elizabeth Parkinson and Scott Wise
Outstanding Ensemble of a Musical – “The Drowsy Chaperone”
Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Musical – Jillian Caillouette
Distinguished Performance by an Actress in a Musical – Shaylen Harger
Distinguished Performance by an Actor in a Musical – Ryan J. Taylor
Distinguished Performance by an Actor in a Musical – TJ Swetz
Distinguished Performance by an Actor in a Musical – Sergio Mandujano
Distinguished Performance by Actors in a Musical – Manuel Torres and Jaret Starkey
Distinguished Costume Design – Sharon Sobel

“We are incredibly proud to be selected by KCACTF for the second year in a row,” Howard said. “After the success of last year’s historic and heart-rending ‘Parade,’ I really wanted to expose our students and audiences to a completely different style of theatre. We are thrilled the festival has acknowledged our hard work with these national awards. 

“I’m thrilled to be invited to attend the National Awards Ceremony again this year,” Howard added. “This gives extraordinary exposure to our university, the School of Visual and Performing Arts, and specifically to our B.F.A. in Musical Theatre program.”



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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