Nassau Community College Students and Alum Win Big
 at Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

 Jessica Nuñez (Wantagh) Receives Award in Region 1, Musical Theatre,
Christine Bailey (Hicksville) Awarded for Dramaturgy

February 26, 2024 Garden City, NY – This month, 28 Nassau Community College students traveled to New Britain, CT for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF).  Six students advanced to the finals and two – Jessica Nuñez, an acting major from Wantagh, and Christine Bailey, now an acting alumna from Hicksville – took top honors in Musical Theatre and Dramaturgy for Region 1, respectively. As part of her first-place finish, Jessica earned a Musical Theatre Fellowship and an invitation to Nationals. She will be one of eight students nationwide to compete for the national title in Musical Theatre in April.

In addition to Jessica and Christine, NCC students Angeli Santander (Floral Park), Anthony Orellana (Farmingdale), Camryn Lyttleton (North Baldwin), and Elizabeth Bailey (Hempstead) were all finalists. Gabby Germain, Alex Rivera, Natali Movahediyan, Shoshana Taylor, and Dante Jemison all participated as technical interns at the festival. They had the opportunity to assist with load-ins and strikes of participating productions as well as help with the backstage aspects of festival events.

“Nassau Community College is the only A.A. degree program in acting in New York State,” said Prof. Richard Ginsburg, Chair of the Theatre and Dance Department. “Because of this, our students have the opportunity to perform in live theater more than most four-year colleges. This helps focus their abilities, accelerates their artistic growth, and helps create close bonds with our faculty and staff. NCC Theatre and Dance has been helping students fulfill their dreams for 60 years. All of the 28 students who attended this festival excelled because of their talent and the preparation received at the college.”

“Going through the process to participate in the Kennedy festival was stressful but ultimately wonderfully rewarding,” said Jessica Nuñez. “From attending master classes, to auditioning to be a finalist, to actually being a finalist, and then performing solos all over again, it was a lot of hard work, but I would do it all again. I feel as though I learned so much on this trip. I came back with a new sense of confidence that I didn’t have before.”

“My experience at the Kennedy Festival is one that I will always remember,” said Christine Bailey, who has since graduated from NCC and is currently pursuing a BFA in acting from CUNY Brooklyn College. “I learned so much from the workshops, the one-on-one responses, and the people I met there. My NCC peers and faculty cheered so loudly. I felt very supported. I was happy to make my school proud.”

About KCACTF National
The national KCACTF festival takes place each April. Students participate in workshops with theatre professionals, see productions in Washington, D.C. and connect with their peers from across the country. KCACTF aims to encourage, recognize and celebrate the finest and most diverse work produced in university and college and university theater programs. Since its inception, it has given more than 400,000 college theater students the opportunity to have their work critiqued and improve their dramatic skills.

About Nassau Community College | State University of New York
Nassau Community College, a campus of the State University of New York, provides a comprehensive public college experience designed to transform lives through higher education. Serving 17,000 full-time, part-time and continuing education students, NCC offers more than 80 programs that lead to the associate’s degree or certificate. Through on-campus and online offerings, the College educates local and international students, and boasts 162,000 alumni. Situated on 225 acres in Garden City, Long Island, the college grounds reside in historic Nassau County, one of the most desirable locations to live in the United States and an epicenter for business and careers. Since 1959, NCC has earned a nationwide reputation for academic excellence, affordability, and ease of transferability to four-year schools.  

Media Contact:  Gail Mattimore | | (516) 572-9634

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