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Newton Community Theatre
1701 S. 8th Ave. E., Newton, Iowa 50208
(641) 792-1230
(Unless other specified, all events will take place at this venue)

 March 28-31, 2019

Schedule of Events

Thursday, March 28



7:00-8:30 pm

Rehearsal-Newton Community Theatre

8:30 pm

Welcome Party with desserts (NCT Basement)
Friday, March 29



8-9 am

Theater open for unloading

9-10:30 am

Workshop #1 (YMCA Board Room)

9:15-10:45 am

Rehearsal-Ankeny Community Theatre

10:45-12:15 pm

Workshop #2 (YMCA Board Room)

11-12:30 pm

Rehearsal-Marshalltown Community Theatre

12:30-1:30 pm

Lunch Break (Onsite)

1 pm

Adjudicator Orientation

2 pm

Performance/Adjudication #1-Ankeny Community Theatre

Performance/Adjudication #2-Newton Community Theatre

5:30-6:30 pm

Dinner Break (onsite)

7 pm

Performance/Adjudication #3-Marshalltown Community Theatre

9-11 pm

Party at AmericInn (cash bar)

4401 S 22nd Avenue E, Newton

Saturday, March 30



8-9 am

Theater open for unloading

9-10:30 am

Workshop #3 (YMCA Board Room)

9:15-10:45 am

Rehearsal-The Road Less Traveled Community Theater (Farley)

10:45-12:15 pm

Workshop #4 (YMCA Board Room)

11-12:30 pmRehearsal-Wilson Performing Arts Center (Red Oak)
12:30-1:45 pmLunch Break (onsite)

ICTA Membership Meeting

2 pm

Performance/Adjudication #4-The Road Less Traveled Community Theater (Farley)

Performance/Adjudication #5-Wilson Performing Arts Center (Red Oak)

5:30 pm

ICTA Board Meeting at Izaak Walton League

889 Hwy F-36 W, Newton

6:30 pmSocial Time at Izaak Walton League (cash bar)

889 Hwy F-36 W, Newton

7 pm ICTA Dinner Gala

ICTA Awards of Excellence

ICTA Festival Awards

Final Cast Party

Sunday, March 31

9-11 am

IowaFest ‘19 advancing theaters will meet with adjudicators   

Workshop #1: Butts-in-Seats, presented by Emily Anderson

Grow Your Audience Through Dynamic Programming and Marketing!

Is your home theatre ready to shake things up? Do you want to draw a new and vibrant audience? Not sure where to start? Join self-proclaimed “big idea person” Emily Anderson as she breaks down her approach to programming and marketing for community theatres of all sizes. 

Workshop #2: Demystifying AACT Adjudication, presented by Kathy Pingel

The purpose of AACT adjudication is to accurately reflect to the performing company what has been successfully achieved, to outline reasonable steps the might be taken to enhance the interpretation of the story and to select which of the companies will receive awards.  At its best, adjudication educates and illuminates.  Learn about the new adjudication curriculum from the person who wrote it! 

Workshop #3: Invigorating the Ensemble, presented by Kathy Pingel

It is a universal challenge to directors:  how to keep a show’s ensemble or chorus engaged. It is also a challenge for actors in the ensemble to remember they are not “just in the chorus.” There are reasons why ensemble actors are disengaged, but the good news is there’s something to be done about it.  This workshop shows performers the power they have to tell the story in a meaningful way and gives directors an extended vocabulary for communicating to this vital part of their cast.

Workshop #4: Successful Auditioning, presented by Ron Ziegler

Auditioning can be a daunting prospect. How do you know what the director is looking for? How do I know what part to audition for? What is the difference between a monologue and a “cold read” audition? This workshop will teach auditioning techniques to help land the roles you want and show you how to put your best foot forward. 

Awards Gala
The winners of the ICTA Awards of Excellence will be revealed Saturday evening, following the Gala dinner. Following the Awards of Excellence, IowaFest ’19 Awards and the announcement of the theaters advancing to Regionals will be made.

Visit our Awards of Excellence Nominations Page for the listing of finalists in each category!

The Adjudicators

Emily Anderson

Emily Anderson has been involved in community theatre for 20 years, having acted in over 40 productions as well as working backstage on tech crew where she caught a falling witch, painting set pieces all night long, dressing nearly-naked actors in a flash, chairing props in a food-heavy show, chairing makeup and costumes for street walkers and bird girls, stage managing for which she realized she does not possess the necessary skill, and directing musical theatre with as many jazz hands as possible. She has also served in a governance capacity (for Teenage Musicals Inc and Center Stage Theatre, both in Midland, MI) where she gave her opinion freely upon request, and sometimes without being requested. She had the pleasure of working at Center Stage Theatre for six years, where she honed her skills in non-profit communication strategy, programming, marketing, and volunteer relations.

She has adjudicated at the high school level for over 15 years for the Michigan Interscholastic Forensics Association (MIFA) in interpretation and public address events as well as at the regional and state level for the one-act theatre competition. Her involvement in AACT began in 2011 when she dove head-first into AACTFest, serving as Michigan Festival Chair while performing in a production of Urinetown which went on to earn second place at Nationals. This is also where she met Ron Ziegler and Kathy Pingel, who have been incredible mentors to her. 

Kathy Pingel

Until her retirement in 2015, Kathy Pingel was the Director of Education and Youth Programming at the Des Moines Community Playhouse for ten years. She also served as Artistic Director of the Kate Goldman Children’s Theatre. She holds a BA in theatre from Eastern Michigan University and a MA from Northwestern University in Performance Studies. She also holds an MA in teaching from Northwestern. Kathy has adjudicated at the state and regional, national and international levels for the American Association of Community Theatre and in 2015 and 2017 taught AACT’s Adjudication Workshop at the national festival.  In 2018 her curriculum for AACT’s adjudication training was approved by the board as a national standard.

In 2017 Kathy was named a Fellow by her peers in AACT.   In 2015, Kathy was nominated for two different critics’ awards for directing: the Cloris Leachman Award in Des Moines, Iowa for Girls’ Weekend and Jay Handelman’s Handy Award for Spamalot at Manatee Performing Arts Center. In 2016 she and her husband, Ron Ziegler, won the Cloris for Best Direction of The Hobbit. Kathy was also nominated for best director by Handelman for her work on Metamorphoses (’16) at Venice Theatre and Bridges of Madison County (’17) at MPAC. In retirement, Kathy freelances and has directed and taught in Florida, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Iowa, Minnesota and Ansbach, Germany.  Most recently, Kathy was hired by AACT as dramaturge for NewPlayFest plays.

Ron Zielger

Ron Ziegler resides in North Port, Florida and is a freelance director and teacher. He is also employed as Festivals Coordinator for the American Association of Community Theatre. Ron served on staff at the Des Moines Playhouse as Associate Director where he was the first Artistic/Managing Director for the Kate Goldman Children’s Theatre.  While in Des Moines, he founded and managed the Iowa Fringe Festival. He is a past President of the American Association of Community Theatre, was named an AACT Fellow, has directed many productions in Florida, Iowa and around the US, and has adjudicated state and regional theatre festivals across the US and abroad. Ron and his spouse Kathy Pingel were awarded the 2015-16 Cloris Leachman Award for Outstanding Direction for their co-direction of Des Moines Young Artists Theatre’s production of The Hobbit, and co-directed Peter and the Starcatcher and Girls’ Weekend for Ansbach Terrace Playhouse in Germany.


4401 S 22nd Avenue E, Newton
Festival rate: $84.99

Please contact ICTA Events Chair, Cheryl Clark, via email ( with any questions.