During the 1997 KCACTF National Festival in Washington, DC, Katie Robinson, past National Chair, called together a group of past and present KCACTF leaders.   This group of 39 friends from across the country agreed that we should continue to support and expand the programs and opportunities provided by KCACTF.   The following year, Ms. Robinson again convened the group, under the name KCACTF Distinguished Alumni.   Dues were established and members were sought.   We embraced the task of perpetuating the Classical Acting Award, established in 1995, given annually at the Irene Ryan Evening of Scenes.   In April, 2000, the executive committee of the Distinguished Alumni expanded to include design constituencies. During the next three years, we experienced healthy growth in both membership and donations.   In order to better achieve our goals, we began the process of incorporation as a non-profit organization.   As part of that process, and to make the organization more inclusive, weadopted the name National Partners—American Theatre .   NAPAT was officially registered as a non-profit organization in May 2003, with this mission:

            ". . .to support activities of the next generation of theatre artists . . .to give support to significant educational theatre programs.   [We] sponsor awards and scholarships in Theatre; serve as a resource for theatre organizations on the regional and national levels; donate monetary support for projects,   (and)   provide historical perspective to educational theatre organizations."

In 2003, we enhanced the Classical Acting Award by supporting four weeks of training at LAMDA for the winner.   We look forward to exploring other opportunities for student and faculty participants in KC/ACTF, such as master classes at the National Festival, additional performance opportunities for playwriting winners, and international theatre tours.

A message from Membership Chair David Lee-Painter, December 2017

Dear Friends and Colleagues, 
Over the course of the next few weeks I hope you’ll spend many much-deserved minutes with beloved ones sharing wondrous food, raising a glass (or two), reflecting on our lucky lives, and bidding a rather-bumpy-2017 adieu!
As our dear friend, and one of NAPAT’s founders, Jeff Koep - wrote to members in November - 2018 is a truly key year for this organization. 
The good will of those forward-thinking former KCACTF leaders that preceded many of us will not be enough to sustain NAPAT beyond the upcoming year without all of us recommitting to the good works of the National Partners of the American Theatre that recognize how vital the KCACTF experience is to students. 
NAPAT President Jim Hatfield writes:
The NAPAT executive board met in Minnesota for midyear discussion and recommended a modest increase in the membership dues in order to continue supporting student participation in acting, design and playwriting. The rationale presented was quite simple, our student programs today are more expensive to underwrite than in the past. As we approach the fifteenth anniversary of NAPAT’s support for student artistry where all money raised through dues supports student participation, a few more dollars from all of us will ensure support for all our award recipients.
 Few organizations can claim operation without “overhead” as NAPAT has actually done for more than a decade. The membership dues fund our awards and this modest increase, the first in the organization’s history, will continue the NAPAT legacy.
As a reminder:
Since incorporating in 2003 NAPAT has awarded nearly $90,000 in National and Regional Scholarships.
100% of all dues and contributions are used exclusively for student scholarship awards and are tax-deductible.
The glorious party in Washington, including the food and the beverages, are generously provided by the Board of NAPAT themselves. 
However, the time has come for us all to more fully share in the lifting of the NAPAT fiscal-mantle – if we do not, the organization will be forced to limit the scope of the student awards.
NAPAT does this:
Presents three National Awards: Classical Acting, Design Excellence, and Playwriting Excellence. These awards now total approximately $8500 annually and are further supplemented by partnerships with:
The Shaw Festival
The Korean National University of the Arts
The KCACTF Playwriting Program
In addition, NAPAT presents a $250 Classical Acting Award at each Regional Festival.
As Jeff put so well:
So, in this time when every charity is requesting your help, NAPAT needs you to rejoin, or renew if we are to continue.  Compare what you, your students, etc. received from the KCACTF experience.  Think of the lifelong friendships some of us have forged.  And remember, PLEASE, this is YOUR Association, an Association dedicated to helping students learn and be rewarded.  YOUR MEMBERSHIP KEEPS THE HEART OF NAPAT PUMPING!  The MEMBERS are the SOUL!
NAPAT is an important partner to KCACTF and I’m committed to its continued survival – I ask you to consider supporting NAPAT, now and in the future. 
Here’s to a new beginning in a New Year! With great respect, and gratitude for all you do, and have done, for students – and theatre in America!

David Lee-Painter/DLP, Proud Member of NAPAT & Membership Chair

The membership form can be downloaded here.



Classical Acting 2012

NAPAT Board Member Paul J. Hustoles presents the NAPAT National Classical Acting Award
to the 2012 winner, Becca Ingram, from Brigham Young University.

John David Lutz receives honorary title Emeritus Partner of American Theatre
Milly Barranger receieves honorary title Emeritus Partner of American Theatre
Sam Smiley receives honorary title Emeritus Partner of American Theatre
David Young receives honorary title Emeritus Partner of American Theatre

Cruz wins first playwriting award

Playwrighting winner

Jaime Cruz (University of Wyoming), the first ever NAPAT Award for Playwriting Excellence

Jaime Cruz is a playwright from Wyoming. He studied acting at Casper College, and earned his BFA
for theatre/playwriting at the University of Wyoming. His plays have been read/developed
at the Last Frontier Conference in Alaska, the American College Theatre Festival at the Kennedy Center
and more recently, Seattle Repertory Theater. His plays have been performed at the University of Wyoming,
Evergreen College and through the City of Laramie Summer Theatre Workshop. He has worked on educational
commissions for the University of Wyoming and his work has been published in the Casper College Expressions Magazine.
Jaime has been a national finalist for the John Cauble Award for his play Dead in the Kitchen and a winner of the
NWDC/NPA Play Competition for Videotape or Lupe at the End of the World. He is a member of the Dramatists
Guild. Jaime wants to continue telling stories of family, cultural collision and Wyoming.


Jordan Brodess, Classical Acting
Award Winner 2011

2010 NAPAT Excellence in Theatre Design Award Winner—Lloyd Cracknell's
Is He Dead (University of Oklahoma)


Emeritus Partner Awards
Dr. Gresdna Anne Doty
Ming Cho Lee
Bob Buseick
Julie Jensen
Marty Bennesen

In Memoriam
Carole Brandt


(Download Word document with information)

National Partners will select the judge(s) for this award.


Winter 2017 Newsletter
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Fall 2012 Newsletter
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Fall 2005 Newsletter (PDF 136 KB)
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Spring (April) 2017 meeting
Spring (April) 2016 meeting
Spring (April) 2015 meeting
Fall (October) 2014 meeting
Fall (October) 2013 meeting
Spring (April) 2013 meeting
Fall (October) 2012 meeting
Fall (October) 2011
Spring (April) 2011
Fall (October) 2010
Spring (April) 2010 meeting
Fall (August) 2009 meeting
Spring (April) 2009 meeting
Spring (April) 2009 meeting
Fall (October) 2008 meeting
Fall (October) 2007 meeting
Spring (April) 2007 meeting
Fall 2006 Board meeting
Spring 2005 meeting

Chronological listing

NAPAT Board (Word document)

2007-2008  NAPAT Partners
(To new fiscal year beginning May 1 2007)
(A=Associate, I= Institutional Partner)

Bennison, Martin
Buseick, Robert
 Cavarozzi, Joyce
CSU, Fullerton
Columbia Basin College
College of Fine Arts-UNLV
Conaway, Lin
Crawford, Jerry
Devine, Lawrence
Dewey, Evelyn
Edelnant, Jay
Finn, Donn
Friesen, Lauren
Gibbs, Andy
Greer, Jim
Hustoles, Paul J.
Hutchinson, P. Wm.
Kauffman, Robert
Koep, Jeff
Marley, Harlene
Moe, Chris
Parker, Harry
Perry, Elaine
Robinson, Katie
Rutledge, Gretel Geist
Sawyer, Ray
Schwartz, Bonnie
Shawger, Kip*
Sloan, Roberta
Stump, Walter*
Tammi, John
Terroso, G.*
Wade, Jere
Willis, Ronald
Wright, Jack
York, Will
Young, David
Zivanovic, Judith

Irene Ryan nominees from the 2005 festival.


The Classical Acting Award , a $2500 fellowship to a major professional
acting training program, such as the London Academy of Music and Drama
Art, is presented to one of the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship national
finalists. The goal of the award is to foster the finest in classical acting.
The National Partners-American Theatre believe that the best acting
stems from a classical base.   For this award, classical selections are
defined as dramatic material written prior to the 20th century.
The Classical Acting Award is funded through the National
Partners-American Theatre, a non-profit corporation dedicated to
developing young theatre artists.