GWC Student Actors Receive ACTF Recognition

Actors Nicole Kelder and Matthew Cobb receive American College Theater Festival Irene Ryan Recognition

Nicole KelderCongratulations to Golden West College actors Nicole Kelder (Maryjo) and Matthew Cobb (All the American Men) for being named nominees for the Kennedy Center/American College Theater Festival (ACTF) Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships for their performances in the recent Golden West College Theater Arts department production of A Piece of My Heart by Shirley Lauro.

 Nicole Kelder (Maryjo) and Matthew Cobb (All the American Men) are now eligible to attend the 2017 KCACTF Region VIII Festival which will be held February 14 – 18 on the campus of Mesa Community College in Mesa, Arizona to compete for an Irene Ryan acting scholarship. They can also proudly place the words “Irene Ryan Award” on their acting resumes.

matthew-cobbSince 1972, the Irene Ryan Foundation of Encino, California, has awarded scholarships to the outstanding student performers at each regional festival. These scholarships are made possible by the generosity of the late Irene Ryan who is best remembered for her portrayal of the lovable and feisty ‘Granny Clampett’ in The Beverly Hillbillies. All student actors in both Participating and Associate productions are eligible for consideration for these $500 regional scholarships.

Started in 1969 by Roger L. Stevens, the Kennedy Center’s founding chairman, the Kennedy Center American College Theater (KCACTF) is a national theater program involving over 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide, which has served as a catalyst to improving the quality of college theater in the United States. The KCACTF has grown into a network of more than 600 academic institutions throughout the country, where theater departments and student artists showcase their work and receive outside assessment by KCACTF respondents.

The goals of the Kennedy Center/American College Theater Festival are to encourage, recognize, and celebrate the finest and most diverse work produced in university and college theater programs; to provide opportunities for participants to develop their theater skills and insight and achieve professionalism; to improve the quality of college and university theater in America; and to encourage colleges and universities to give distinguished productions of new plays, especially those written by students, the classics – revitalized or newly conceived, and experimental works.

Upcoming productions for the Golden West College Theater Arts department include the plays Requiem for a Heavyweight and Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead , and the award-winning musical Hairspray. For more information on the Golden West College Theater Arts program, visit their website at