Middlesex Community College strives to create a safe and inclusive space for students to learn, practice skills and have access to opportunity. To support students studying the performing arts, MCC Chair of Performing Arts Karen Oster has been appointed vice president of the musical theater division for the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.
“I’m proud to serve on the board of an organization that is committed to the mission of nurturing and nurturing the young artist in a competitive field,” Oster said. “I look forward to helping them become the next generation of storytellers to be ‘heard, supported, celebrated and recognized’ for the wonderful, diverse people that they are.”
Much like Middlesex, KCACTF is dedicated to providing an accessible and equitable experience for the diverse population the organization serves. In her new role, Oster strives to bring meaningful workshops to the festival, as well as leading the competition for the Musical Theater division in the New England region.
The KCACTF first expressed interest in bringing Oster into the national student theater program after MCC’s performance of “Man of La Mancha” in the spring of 2021. Due to the pandemic, the show was performed remotely socially — in order to protect the cast and crew — and streamed live online to an audience.
“They were extremely impressed with the production and thought my involvement would be a good fit,” Oster said. “I have completed the application and highlighted the work I have done with the college, as well as the experiences I have had working on Broadway and across the country as an educator, performer and director. “
Each year, the MCC Theater Department invites a KCACTF member to attend the College Spring Musical. The member meets with cast and production crew and often invites students to participate in the organization’s musical theater and acting scholarship competition.
Oster’s new role – combined with the strength of the college’s pre-existing partnership with KCACTF – will benefit Middlesex students looking to hone their craft.
“Participation in KCACTF has always allowed students to engage and work with people outside of MCC,” Oster said. “Working with professionals in the field, as well as students from across New England, creates a network of support as they continue their journey in the arts.”