If a visitor to Newton asks you where he or she can find the best community theatre in the state, point them in the direction of the Newton Community Theatre.
The local company had the honor last weekend of both hosting and then winning the competition at the 2013 Iowa Association of Community Theatre Festival. With the victory, the local thespians are now preparing for a trip to Fargo, N.D., later this month to compete in the American Association of Community Theatre regional competition.
NCT performed the comedy “Lone Star” as its competition production. The cast included Tim Blount, Wanda Blount, Lonnie Appleby, Scott Schaeffer, John Dougan, Linda Dougan and Sue Beukema.
Runner-up honors went to The Wilson Performing Arts Center of Red Oak for its production of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged).” Also representing Iowa at the AACT regional competition will be Sioux City Community Theatre with “Almost Maine.”
Other theatre groups participating in the festival were Iowa River Players with “Of Mice and Men” and Marshalltown Community Theatre with “Unconditional Surrender: An Evening with President Grant.”
NCT also won an individual award for Excellence in Technical Direction. Other individual awards were presented to:
• Lindsay Washburn and Wendy Bryce of Sioux City Community Theatre, each for Excellence in Acting;
• Paul Bamford of Iowa River Players for Excellence in Acting;
• Nathaniel Adkins of The Wilson Performing Arts Center for Excellence in Acting;
• Sioux City Community Theatre for Excellence in Ensemble;
• The Wilson Performing Arts Center for Excellence in Technical Direction;
• Iowa River Players for Excellence in Set Design; and
• Peter J. Grady of the Marshalltown Community Theatre for Achievement in Original Work for “Unconditional Surrender: An Evening with President Grant.”
To raise money for the trip to Fargo, NCT will offer a fundraising performance of “Lone Star” for the community 7 p.m. Saturday, April 20. Free-will donations will be accepted.