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AACTFest 2013 Showcased Excellence in Community Theatre


Twelve top rated play excerpts competed June 17-22 in Carmel, Indiana

Carl Wiesinger and Brent Graber in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Carl Wiesinger and Brent Graber in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

AACTFest 2013 showed the world that community theatre may be, technically speaking, amateur theatre, but it’s often far above “amateur quality.”  Twelve community theatres competed at Carmel, Indiana for the American Association of Community Theatre’s AACTFest, including the Geeks’ home theatre, Elkhart Civic Theatre, with a production of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

AACTFest is the culmination of a state-to-regional-to national competition season that brings some of the best amateur talent together for a week of excerpt competition, education and networking.

In this extended episode, the Geeks talk about the festival and our own experiences, and include interviews with the director and cast of Wisconsin Rapids Community Theatre‘s production of Cradle and All.  Wisconsin Rapids was Elkhart Civic Theatre’s co-winner at the AACT Midwest Regional competition, and our two troupes became friends as a result.  Steve Martin, one half of the cast, won the Best Actor Award, and the production took Best Sound Design and Third Place overall. Steve and his co-star, Karly Telleksen, will join us on this episode, along with director Susan Edgren in a separate interview.

Karly Telleksen and Steve Martin in Wisconsin Rapids Community Theatre's Cradle and All

Karly Telleksen and Steve Martin in Wisconsin Rapids Community Theatre’s Cradle and All

For full information about AACT (American Association of Community Theatre) and AACTFest, check their website.  The full list of competition winners and nominees is here.

As for Elkhart Civic Theatre and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, our production received 7 nominations, of which we’re very proud, and we won two of the awards.  Here’s our list of nominations and wins for Jekyll and Hyde.

  • Nominated for Best Set Design and Dressing: John Shoup
  • Nominated for Best Sound Design: Dave Dufour and Garry Cobbum
  • WON Best Lighting Design: Randy Zonker
  • WON Best Costume Design: Linda Wiesinger
  • Nominated for Best Ensemble
  • Nominated for Best Actress in a Featured Role: Kaitrin Higbee, Elizabeth in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • Nominated for Best Actor in a Featured Role: Tony Venable, Hyde 3 in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

All Photos in this post generously provided by Stephen Bird, photographer, Carmel, Indiana.

Music provided by Music Alley.

Gallery of ECT’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (adapted by Jeffery Hatcher from the Robert Louis Stevenson novella) and WRCT’s Cradle and All.