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Theatre professor steps into new role

Georgia Southern University theatre professor Lisa Abbott stepped into a new role as region 4 chair of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

KCACTF works to recognize and celebrate the work produced in university and college theatre programs. As chair of region 4, Abbott works with a leadership team that puts together the regional KCACTF festival for Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. She coordinates travel logistics for 200-300 regional shows each year, manages organizational finances, coordinates the regional festival, and represents the region on the national leadership committee, among other roles.

The regional festival, held each year in February, provides a forum where students and professionals have the opportunity to take part in auditions, performances, portfolio reviews and workshops.

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all in-person KCACTF fall 2020 activities such as peer reviews of productions will be conducted remotely, and the 2021 region 4 festival will now be held virtually.  

“Things will be different, but we will re-emerge with new stories, and new ways of sharing the live theatre experience,” Abbott said. “We have made a commitment to celebrating innovation in this time. Our students are already leading the way in how to utilize different mediums to tell stories and celebrate their work.”

While many theatres are closing for an indefinite period of time, Abbott is trying to be transparent with all decisions being made for KCACTF.

Through innovative storytelling, Abbott looks to uphold the equity, diversity and inclusion standards of KCACTF. “We are here to support, to listen, to raise up our students, faculty, and artists of color,” Abbott said. “We will continue to follow these practices, hopefully with a renewed and greater commitment.”

Abbott has been active with KCACTF for 12 years and served as the vice chair for the past three years. She is now chair until April 2023.

Abbott teaches courses such as Directing, Acting, Playwriting, and Theatre Management within the Communication Arts Department, and directs student productions.

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Posted in Theatre & Performance