Information about Irene Ryans

Irene Ryan, a professional actress best remembered as “Granny” from The Beverly Hillbillies television series, generously left a bequest that supports student actors across the nation through the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

All Irene Ryan nominees are expected to attend the orientation meeting at 8pm on the Tuesday night of the Region 4 festival. (Check the Festival Schedule for location)

Scholarship Auditions

The Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships are divided into three (3) rounds, which take place on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of the annual Region 4 Festival.

Round One (Wednesday):

The nominee and their partner will perform a scene and a monologue or solo song. Only one of these two pieces may contain singing. The total time for round one is 3 minutes.

Round Two (Thursday):

Nominees and their partners that have been passed on to this semifinal round perform the original scene presented in Round One, as well as a second two-person scene. The time allowed in this round is 5 minutes.

Round Three (Friday):

During the regional finals, nominees and their partners will present the same two two-person scenes presented during the semifinals, as well as the monologue or solo song presented in Round One. The total time for this final round presentation is 6 minutes.

Any musical selection included in any of the three rounds must be live; both acapella and accompanied music is allowed. An accompanist will not be counted as a partner unless they are acting in a character role. An accompanist and piano (or keyboard) will be provided by the region – participants may also bring their own accompanist.

Student Eligibility and Partnering

Nominees and partners must be “bona fide” students during the academic year they are to perform. Bona fide is defined as an undergraduate student taking at least 6 semester hours, a graduate student taking at least 3 semester hours, or a part-time student enrolled in a degree or certificate program. Any question regarding eligibility will be referred to the chair of the student’s theatre program.

Partners may NOT be participating in the Irene Ryan Scholarship Auditions the same year as that in which they are serving as a partner. A bona fide student MAY serve as a partner for two different nominees in the same academic year’s festival

Rights and Royalties

KCACTF requires written proof of rights to perform any piece at festival that is not designated on the KCACTF national website as available. For information on specific rights and royalties, click here – royalties and permission
Any fee required by an author or their representative is the sole responsibility of the nominee.

Procedures for Irene Ryan Auditions

  • All nominees and partners are required to attend the Irene Ryan orientation meeting, held at 8:00pm on the Tuesday night immediately before the Wednesday preliminary round.
  • Schedules for Round One, information about specifics, and any potential conflicts or issues will be dealt with at that time.
  • Each nominee and partner should be introduced by name and material ONLY. No mention of the students’ school will be allowed.
  • A standard square table (capable of being stood on) and two chairs will be provided for auditions. Any props necessary are the responsibility of the actors.
  • Adjudicators for each round include a wide range of qualified academic and professional theatre artists. No student shall perform in front of a judge from their own institution.
  • On-site rehearsal time, in the acting space, will be scheduled only for the final round.


Registration deadline for Irene Ryans will be Midnight, Jan. 18th, 2020.


For more information you should go to the National KCACTF site.

Please be aware you must register for both Irene Ryans and for the Festival

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