Jared Kaufman was invited to The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival’s Region III conference, to take place in January 2020 in Madison, Wisconsin.
Kaufman will compete against the top college actors in the Midwest for the prestigious Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship. He will also have the chance to participate in theatre workshops to expand his skills.
Kaufman, a communication and theatre education freshman, said he would have to prepare a showcase of different theatrical skills his festival appearance.
“I have to prepare a monologue and two scenes, one dramatic and one comedic,” he said. “Although the conference isn’t until next January, I’ll spend the time leading up to it finding a partner for my scenes and finding the best pieces to use, then memorizing and rehearsing them.”
Kaufman noted that he would have to audition in front of SVSU’s theatre faculty in order to attend the conference. He expressed gratitude for Tommy Wedge, who directed “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” which Kaufman starred in, and all his castmates.
“(They) kept me motivated and made the show all it could be,” he said.
Kaufman said that he has been performing since he was in fourth grade.
“I love the whole theatrical environment and the people involved,” he said. “My own love and appreciation for theatre have really pushed me to stay involved and try new things.”
He also said he that plans to pursue theatre education.
“I plan to become a drama teacher,” he said. “I want to be able to teach new students about theatre and try to create the same opportunities for them that I got.”
He noted that the path to the conference has been a great experience, despite the occasional ups and downs.
“(‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’) was my first performance on the SVSU stage, and I could not have asked for a better role,” he said. “The show had such a powerful message, and being able to share that with an audience was amazing.”
He was humbled to be invited to compete for the Ryan Scholarship and recognized for his hard work.
“It’s hard to juggle school and theatre work,” he said. “I want to give both 100 percent, but it’s often difficult.”