Maria Amon
California State University San Marcos


The KCACTF/LORT ASPIRE Leadership Fellows Program is designed to cultivate a new generation of artistic and administrative leaders for the American Theatre with a focus of engaging Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and members of other groups that are historically underrepresented in the field. This diverse national cohort of fellows assembled from all of KCACTF’s eight regions will engage in topics concerning equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism as well as leadership skills building, investigation of institutional challenges, and professional networking opportunities.

In Region 8, students apply to the ASPIRE program. Up to 12 selected semi-finalists will participate in special ASPIRE workshops over the course of the Region 8 KCACTF Feb 10-13, 2021. Semi-finalists additionally create a pitch of a proposed theatre company and interview with LORT theatre representatives.

One student from each KCACTF region will be chosen to participate in a free week-long fellowship that occurs as part of the annual national convening of the American College Theater Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The curriculum is designed and led by professionals from LORT institutions in partnership with staff from the Kennedy Center and the American College Theater Festival Regional Chairs.

For more info on the ASPIRE program, see the League of Regional Theatre’s website here.

To apply for the ASPIRE program in Region 8: Complete the application form here by January 15th 2020, or use this link: ASPIRE Intent to Participate

ASPIRE Semi-Finalists are required to attend all ASPIRE workshops during the Region 8 KCACTF Feb 10-13, 2021.

Applicants selected as Semi-Finalists will be notified by January 15, 2021 and the semi-finalist cohort will be sent the instructions for creating a Theatre Pitch to be presented to national arts leaders and working professionals.

A condensed version of the instructions, for the purpose of illustrating the workload and necessary commitment is below:

ASPIRE students will create and pitch a theatrical season and a new theatre company to a selectors panel of theatre professionals. Students are welcome to consider the current impact of COVID-19 on the performing arts industry. However, the current pandemic should not limit the student’s imagination in the creation of their company. This exercise will prepare ASPIRE students to think critically about leadership styles, programming, and company models while demonstrating their ability to innovate and think creatively.

The following is a set of guidelines to help prepare an effective pitch:

  • Students have 10 minutes to present their pitch followed by 5 minutes to take questions from the selectors;
  • The presentation must include the name of the theatre company, the mission of the theatre company, where the theatre company or theatrical season will take place (town, city, state, country), and play titles/authors (if known). This presentation may include a PowerPoint, Video, or other virtual display.
  • Students should articulate the role and relevance of their season and/or new theatre company in terms of audience, community, and efforts towards greater diversity.
  • ASPIRE Semi-Finalists from Region 8 will be eligible for a full scholarship for their Regional KCACTF Registration Fees.


November 30, 2020: ASPIRE Region 8 Semi-Finalist Cohort Application Opens

January 15, 2020: ASPIRE Region 8 Cohort Application Deadline

January 22, 2021: Semi-Finalist Cohort notified and given guidelines and resources to craft

Theatre Pitch

February 3-5, 2021: “Office Hours” ASPIRE Mentors Available to Semi-Finalists to give guidance, assist with pitches, and answer any questions

February 10-13: Region 8 KCACTF

For more information or questions, email KCACTF Region 8 Coordinator Maria Patrice Amon: patriceaamon@gmail.com.

Maria Amon
California State University San Marcos



Open to all students, participants will hear from current professionals working in the areas of arts administration and management. A workshop schedule will be announced prior to the festival.