CCRI Theater Program Coordinator Receives Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Award

Monday 07 February 2022

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The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Photo: CreativeCommons/Tom

Ted Clement of Cranston, Rhode Island Community College’s performing arts teacher and theater program coordinator, received the prestigious Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) Region 1 Medallion this year for his ten year of service to KCACTF and his over 25 years of experience as a theater student, artist, mentor and educator.

The KCACTF is a national theater program involving more than 18,000 students each year from colleges and universities across the country, culminating each year in a week-long conference for participating students. Participating colleges represent eight regions, with CIRB belonging to Region 1, which also includes schools in Northeastern New York, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Each year, the eight regions of the KCACTF honor individuals and organizations who have made extraordinary contributions to theater education and production and who have significantly contributed their time, artistry and enthusiasm to the development of the festival. annual. Most importantly, recipients have demonstrated a strong commitment to the values ​​and goals of KCACTF and to excellence in educational theater. The Kennedy Center Medallion is the highest regional award bestowed by the KCACTF and is considered one of the highest honors in theater education.

About Clement

Clement’s connection to the KCACTF spans more than two decades; he first attended the festival in 1997 as a student at CCRI and credits the relationships forged that year with theater professionals and other students with influencing his decision to transfer to the University of Salem State, where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Performance. He then obtained his Master of Fine Arts in Acting at the New School for Drama in New York.

Over the past decade, Clement has continued to contribute to the KCACTF, beginning first as a host before rising through the ranks to chair of sponsors, a role in which he coordinated the assignment respondents to participating KCACTF schools in Region 1 to attend performances and nominate performers for the annual festival. He spent the last six years of his tenure with the KCACTF as Regional Co-Vice President and ultimately Co-Chair, where he helped shape organizational policies, set up a job fair for hopefuls of theater and worked to increase KCACTF’s diversity and inclusion rates. Clement also served as emcee for the Irene Ryan Scholarship showcase at the KCACTF’s 50th Annual National Festival in 2019 and eventually became a policy writer for the national group, including writing the DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) statement ) organisation. . He continues to contribute to the KCACTF in an advisory role.

“Receiving the medallion is a huge honour,” said Clement. “I had the opportunity to attend the festival five times as a student, so when I became a teacher, I immediately wanted to get involved in the festival.

“The KCACTF offers students the opportunity to develop their craft and make their way in the theater industry. It is an enlightening and stimulating experience to attend a conference filled with your colleagues and thousands of students building their careers. I learned so many different approaches to my craft and grew professionally as a teaching artist.

“I was certainly motivated to get involved as much as I was because of the profound experience I had as a student, and I found that really rewarding. It was an honor to be able to help shape the festival for six years and to see these students perform on the Kennedy Center stage.

In addition to his role as a college professor, Clement serves as a mentor to the leaders of the college’s student-run theater troupe, the CCRI Players. He is also the coordinator of the CCRI Summer Repertoire Program, a community theater project designed to recruit high school students for the CCRI theater program and increase community engagement.

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