Grand Rapids CIVIC THEATRE AND AACTFEST
WHAT IS IT?
AACTFest, the festival process that culminates in a national theatre festival, is sponsored by AACT (American Association of Community Theatres) and is held in odd-numbered years, and allows community theatres from AACT’s 10 regions to enter productions for adjudication at the national level.
- To provide an optimum learning experience through festival entry, which affirms, supports, and nurtures community theatre companies as they strive toward excellence in theatrical productions.
- To stimulate and inspire community theatre companies to strive for the best work possible and to recognize them for their achievement through an appropriate adjudication process.
- To provide a learning experience in artistic, technical, and management areas for people in attendance through performances, adjudication, and workshops.
- To develop enlightened and discerning audiences for community theatre.
CIVIC’S INVOLVEMENT WITH AACTFEST
WHAT’S OUR REGION, AND WHERE DOES CIVIC FIT?
Grand Rapids Civic Theatre is a part of AACT’s Great Lakes Region III, which is made up of community theatres from Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin.
COMPETITION AND HOSTING
Grand Rapids Civic Theatre is a longtime member of AACT (American Association of Community Theatres). Civic was the proud host of the National Festival twice (1997 and 2015). Recently, in the 2017 festival cycle, Civic entered with The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, where we placed second at the state festival! After the first-place show was unable to participate, we moved on to regionals in Rochester, Minnesota (Just how one of those spellers in Spelling Bee earned their way to the stage!). In the 2019 festival cycle we had big success with Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, which made it all the way to regionals in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania where both the show and individual performances were celebrated!
Since 2015, a dedicated team of volunteers have been working hard to see that GRCT is continually represented at the state level and beyond. We are currently working toward our involvement in the 2025 festival cycle!
SO HOW DOES IT WORK?
Many criteria are in place to achieve the aforementioned goals. Among the most significant are:
- All theatre companies must meet the same eligibility standards and requirements.
- Maximum time limits are 60 minutes performance time; 10 minutes set-up time and 10 minutes strike time.
- Qualified and impartial adjudicators are essential to the success and fairness of the festival process.
- A production must be performed in the same form as previously adjudicated.
- The house must be closed during each performance.
- The Festival Commission Representative will make the final determination in all matters of dispute during a festival.
HOW CAN I HELP?
We are looking to add more people to our AACTFest community!
Civic’s volunteer-lead team is seeking volunteers to assist with entries. We are looking for actors, crew, designers, stage managers and more. In preparation for a festival, we split up into smaller groups to focus on things like marketing, fundraising, set building, props making, etc. In the past, we have been entirely self-funded by collecting donations from people and businesses in the community. As a team, we’re collaborative! Everyone helps in whatever capacity they can, no amount of time is too small. Are you great with data entry/finances? Great, we’ll need help tracking donations! Do you enjoy sewing costumes or painting a set piece? Amazing, we could use your help! We appreciate everyone’s willingness to lend a hand in whatever way they can!
As we start to plan for the 2025 cycle, more specifics will become available over time. For now, we’re gearing up to attend the regional conference! Want to get involved in some way, shape or form? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started!
Our most recent aactfest success
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson | 2019