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What Is AACTFest?

What is AACTFest?

AACT stands for “American Association of Community Theatre.” The American Association of Community Theatre (AACT) has its roots in the National Association of Community Theatre (NACT), an organization founded in the 1950s. In 1958 the American Community Theatre Association (ACTA) was founded and later became a division of the American Theatre Association (ATA). AACT’s bi-annual theater festival began in 1968 and Village Playhouse’s participation started in 1985. The group’s first festival entry was Willing Failure by Judy Markowski. Dave Eggebrecht directed actors Lynn Dombeck, Rick Fuchs, and David Handrich.

Willing Failure was also a play selected for Village Playhouse’s first annual one-act festival. We are proud to produce the longest running one-act festival of original one-act plays by Wisconsin playwrights. The one-act festival committee is reviewing submissions received for the 36th annual festival which will be produced in June.

Our 2021 AACTFest selection is Oscar Wilde’s Salomé, a retelling of the Biblical story. Past selections include Christopher Durang’s Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You; Moisés Kaufman and Stephen Belber’s The Laramie Project plus Jim Morgan and Michael Stockler’s Quilt: A Musical Celebration.

Due to the pandemic, this year’s AACTFest looks different. The usual process starts with a state competition. Regional winners go to the national festival and that winner goes to an international competition in Monaco. Village Playhouse has gone to regional competition three times since 1985. Thirty-eight companies are participating in AACTFest. Each company will submit a 30-minute video for judging. From these entries, twelve productions will be professionally filmed and shown at the annual AACT convention June 14-20, 2021.

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