Alfred University News

Kirstin VanRenselaar wins national acting honors

Kirstin VanRenselaar
Kirstin VanRenselaar

Kirstin VanRenselaar, who recently completed her junior year at Alfred University, has won two awards at the national Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. The honors, which include $2,000 in scholarship money, follow Kirstin’s first-place finishes in Region 2 of the American College Theater Festival.


Kirstin VanRenselaar, who recently completed her junior year at Alfred University, has won two awards at the national Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. The honors, which include $2,000 in scholarship money, follow Kirstin’s first-place finishes in Region 2 of the American College Theater Festival.

Kirstin recorded two monologues in her dormitory room in the spring and submitted them for judging in the National Festival. She performed as The Jailor’s Daughter from Two Noble Kinsmen, an early seventeenth century drama attributed to William Shakespeare and John Fletcher, and as Allie Mayo from the Susan Glaspell 1917 drama, The Outside.

She won first-place honors and $1,500 for the 2021 National Partners of the American Theatre Classical Acting Award competition; she also won second-place honors and $500 for the 2021 Mark Twain Scholarship for Comic Performance competition.

VanRenselaar is the daughter of Marcella VanRenselaar, of Amsterdam, NY. She is a double major in History and Theatre and also minors in education. She expects to graduate in 2022, certified to teach history at the high school level, and she looks forward to directing a high school drama club. For a future project in the teaching field, she hopes to draft dramatic scenarios in which students may act the parts of individuals not included in mainstream historical accounts.

She also looks forward to fall and spring theater productions at Alfred University. She plans to produce the spring 2022 production, which will serve as her senior capstone project. 

Kirstin has been acting since the third grade. At Alfred University, she has played Orgon in Tartuffe and Mrs. Gomez in Annie Jump and the Library of Heaven. She also had roles in the Fall 2020 production, Unbound: a Loose-Leaf Theater Project on Racial and Social Justice and the spring 2021 production Suzette Who Set to Sea.