Alfred University News

Kirstin VanRenselaar takes highest acting honor at ACTF Region 3 Festival

Kirstin VanRenselaar
Kirstin VanRenselaar

Kirstin VanRenselaar, a junior at Alfred University, recently won the highest honor in acting at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region 2 Festival.


ALFRED, NY – Kirstin VanRenselaar, a junior at Alfred University, recently won the highest honor in acting at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region 2 Festival.  Moving through three levels of competition, she was named winner of the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship and is the first Alfred University student to win at the Region 2 Festival and compete for the prestigious Irene Ryan award.

“Winning the regional scholarship is a great honor and tribute to Kirstin’s preparation, technique and talent,” said Alfred University Professor of Theater Becky Prophet.

VanRenselaar next will compete in the national KCACTF festival, to be held in Washington, DC in April, along with seven other young actors from across the U.S.

 VanRenselaar performed two monologues at the Region 2 Festival: The Jailor’s Daughter from Two Noble Kinsmen, an early seventeenth century drama attributed to William Shakespeare and John Fletcher; and Allie Mayo from The Outside, by Susan Glaspell. In addition, she performed live on the Zoom platform for national judges. 

She was selected from a group of more than 200 college actors from New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Washington, DC; also parts of Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio. The 2021 regional festival was an online festival, with all nominees presenting their work on Zoom.

VanRenselaar is the daughter of Marcella VanRenselaar of Canajoharie, NY.  She is a double major in History and Theatre with a minor in education.  She has been acting since the third grade, playing many roles over the years.  Since coming to Alfred she has played Orgon in Tartuffe, Mrs. Gomez in Annie Jump and the Library of Heaven, and had multiple roles in the most recent production- Unbound: A Loose-Leaf Theatre Project on Racial and Social Justice.