Florida Theatre Conference Festival Brings Thousands to Santa Fe College Oct. 24-27, 2018

October 11, 2018 – For the seventh year in a row, Santa Fe College will host the Florida Theatre Conference Festival that brings close to 3000 high school and college students, chaperones, vendors, theater professionals, teachers and higher education recruiters to the Northwest Campus for four days of workshops, auditions, interviews and performances.

This year’s festival will take place Wednesday through Saturday, Oct. 24-27, in the SF Fine Arts Hall. Passes are available to the public for $5 per day at the festival’s registration desk in the lobby of the SF Fine Arts Hall.

“We estimate that about 14,000 high school students have visited SF since we started hosting this event,” said Theatre professor Terry Klenk, who serves on the Florida Theatre Conference’s board of directors as the festival site chair. “We hear quite a few stories about how students who came to Gainesville for this festival decided to enroll here.”

The theme of this year’s event is “King Kong: Talent Too Big to Contain,” a reference to the new musical version of “King Kong” that is set to open on Broadway in October.

The festival begins Wednesday afternoon, Oct.24, and at 7:30 p.m. that night, Sarasota’s Asolo Repertory Theatre, the largest Equity theatre in Florida and the largest Repertory theatre in the Southeast, will present a world premiere, fast-paced adaptation of William Shakespeare’s supernatural play, “The Tempest,” in the SF Fine Arts Hall. Admission is $5 for the day pass. There will be a talkback between actors and audience members after the performance.

The full schedule of festival activities includes:

  • A Community Theatre Play Festival.
  • A High School One-Act Play Festival.
  • A Middle School Play Festival.
  • An Inclusion Festival for people facing various life challenges.
  • A DraMature Showcase for senior theatre groups.
  • FTC’s Got Talent Competition for individuals or small groups presenting monologues, songs, comic sketches, dances or theatrical selections.
  • FTC Hack-a-Thon, a competition for technical theatre student teams to solve a problem such as designing a rain curtain or building a puppet.
  • Professional Screening Auditions, with 350 students competing for 50 spots allocated to Florida for student attendance at the regional Southeastern Theatre Conference in 2019.
  • High school and college transfer student auditions for admission to college and university theatre programs.
  • A “Technical Olympics” competition for technical theatre students (costumes, props, sets, lighting).
  • Professional reviews of student portfolios, designs or stage management prompt books.
  • Over 60 workshops on topics such as improvisation, jazz and tap dance, audition preparation, stage combat, clowning, monologue selection and preparation, song choice, the journey from stage to film, stage and lighting design, costuming and stage management.

Klenk said he is thrilled that Santa Fe College student Brittany Nelson will direct SF student actors in a 10-minute play, “The Ketchup Bottle,” in the State College Play Festival Thursday, Oct. 25.

The festival will close at an awards ceremony for “Best in Show” and acting awards, along with special entertainment, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, in the Fine Arts Hall.

The Florida Theatre Conference (FTC) is a nonprofit educational theatre organization founded in 1956 to provide programs and services to individuals and theatre groups. The organization’s goals are to celebrate the diversity of Florida theatre, to nurture communications among theatre groups, to advance high standards and to encourage public appreciation.

For more information about the festival, call Terry Klenk at 352-395-5092.

For more information about the day passes that are available to the public, call the SF Fine Arts Hall Box Office at 352-395-4181.