Actors, directors and scene designers will go through their scenes and discuss their works from productions during the past year.
Merrimack’s students are competing in a variety of categories, including acting, costume design, lighting, and directing. Each student was nominated by a member of the Kennedy Center American College Theater.
“In each case they are looking for excellence in acting or in design,” Sills said.
Students at the festival will watch up to two plays a day and take part in workshops when not presenting their own material, she said.
“They are seeing theater, they are learning about theater, and they are competing,” Sills said.
All the actors who compete in the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship will perform a two-person scene and then a monologue. Winners will advance to a national festival competition in which the winner will receive a scholarship to study for a master’s degree of fine arts in acting.