Two Graceland Theatre Students Advance to KCACTF Region 5 Finals

Two Graceland Theatre Students Advance to KCACTF Region 5 Finals

Daryn Nowlin '21 (left) and Kinsey Collins '22 (right) are shown in the Graceland Theatre production of "Chicago" during Spring 2020.

Two Graceland University theatre students were recognized for their theatre and musical theatre talents earlier this month. Senior Daryn Nowlin (theatre) and junior Kinsey Collins (musical theatre) were nominated for The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) Region 5 Irene Ryan Scholarship auditions for their performances in Graceland Theatre’s production of “Chicago” during Spring 2020.

Both students have now made it through to the regional finals, in which they competed against students from Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. The results of that competition will be announced Saturday, Jan. 23, and the winner(s) will then compete at the national level in April.

Throughout the competition, students attend workshops and receive feedback to help them improve their performances as they move through the competition levels. The entire competition is virtual this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so auditions are submitted in video format. We wish Daryn and Kinsey luck as they look to continue their own success and that of Graceland theatre students in the KCACTF Irene Ryan Scholarship competition.

Graceland graduate Haley Johnson ‘19 won the national title in 2018 after competed against more than 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students.


About KCACTF Region 5 Irene Ryan Scholarship Auditions (according to

The Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships provide recognition, honor, and financial assistance to outstanding student performers wishing to pursue further education. The Irene Ryan Foundation awards eight regional scholarships and one national scholarship annually. Eight of the awards consist of a $500 scholarship for each regional representative.  Students and coaches are encouraged to consult their regional chair or regional Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Auditions Coordinator for information on other regional awards. The Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships are, indeed, scholarships; so the Foundation disburses the award through a school designated by the winner, to pay tuition and fees for further education, not necessarily limited to theatre arts.