American Association of Community Theatre - 2009 National Festival


 The national community theatre festival, AACTFest, is held in odd-numbered years, and is the world’s premiere community theatre event. The 2009 festival was held in Tacoma, WA, in the great Pacific Northwest—about as far from Tallahassee as you can get in the continental U.S.! When we won our regional competition and were invited to participate in the national festival, the prospect of taking a musical with a company of 40 all the way across the country seemed impossible. But thanks to many generous donations from our friends and patrons, and the willingness of company members to pay many of their own expenses, we were able to make the trip.

Twelve companies participated in the festival, and there was a palpable feeling of community among the festival participants. We were very excited and proud to have this opportunity to represent our city, state and region on the national stage. Our company was the single largest group attending the festival, and our performance of Nine was very well received. On awards night, the award for Best Featured Actress went to Lauren Antista for her comic cameo in Nine’s “Grand Canal” sequence. Additionally, we were nominated for three other awards—Best Costume Design (Wanda Tillman), Best Musical Direction (Bryan Richards) and Best Supporting Actress (Leslie Gonzalez).  We returned home with many great memories and a broader understanding of the “community” part of community theatre.


Photos by Ray Colletti





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