NEVADA, Mo. — Many theatre students at “Cottey College” are thinking about future career opportunities after spending a week at a nationally-recognized theatre festival.

They just returned from the “Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival” in Des Moines, Iowa.

It provides students with rigorous workshops to build and fine-tune important career skills.

Between professional callbacks, meeting and connecting with potential employers, and networking with students and professionals, many of the students who went to the festival have internships and jobs waiting for them.

“It’s a really educational experience because it puts you in those situations where it’s like, ‘this is a true audition’. You’re either going to make it or you’re going to get cut, and that’s just that and you have to be okay with that,” said Sasha Smith, Recognized for Choreography.

“I was able to actually meet someone who runs a special effects makeup company out of Kansas City. I was able to meet other students who were interested in like pursuing special effects makeup. The majority of the workshops I took were actually focusing on that,” said E Blaha, Assistant Stage Manager.

“I never knew where to like, jump in and like, start. And KCACTF has really helped with the networking process, as well as Cottey, Laura Chaney, our director, is amazing. She has opened up so many doors for me that I didn’t even know were possible,” said Taylor Jordan, Hair Designer.

Theatre students from Cottey attend the festival each year.

Next year, they’re hoping to take their entire musical number on the road to perform at the festival.