AUBURN — Community theater companies from across the state converged on Cayuga Community College's Irene A. Bisgrove Community Theatre last weekend for the Theatre Association of New York State's 58th annual festival. 

The three-day festival, in which seven different theater companies performed 10 hour-long plays, culminated in an awards ceremony held Sunday afternoon at the theater. 

The Little Theater of Watertown's production of "Doubt" took home the prize for best long production, while Albany's Confetti Stage group won best short production for "Bleached Blind."  

Auburn's Theodore Brill won two best actor awards for his performance as Brad in CCC's Harlequin Productions show"Museum Lovers," which was performed Friday night. 

The 10 entries in this year's festival were chosen by a panel of TANYS adjudicators, said TANYS President-elect Colleen Law-Tefft. Every year, the adjudicators go around the state and watch productions from community, high school, college and children's theater groups. The judges offer feedback on the shows and then choose what they consider to be the best productions. Cast and crews from the top productions are then invited to perform at the annual festival and compete for awards and a chance to perform at the Eastern States Theatre Association festival in May. 

Law-Tefft said this year's shows were "really good quality." 

The festival has been held in Auburn since 2013. Typically, Law-Tefft said, the association likes to hold the festival in different locations every two years, but it has been difficult finding other locations to accept the challenge. 

Law-Tefft said the festival is a great learning opportunity for everyone involved. 

"I've done community theater all my life and I also direct high school theater," she said. "I enjoy the process of learning more about theater because it is a constant learning process. You always learn something new from every show you do."

The festival also provides an opportunity for association members to spend time with people who have the same passion for theater.  

"It's a great opportunity for everybody to bring their talents together and meet other people from different companies," said Anne Frame, the festival's vice chairperson. "It's almost like a huge family reunion." 

"You find likenesses but you also find new ways to do things and learn from each other," Law-Tefft added. "It's a great festival and organization to be a part of." 

Staff writer Natalie Brophy can be reached at (315)282-2239 or natalie.brophy@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter @brophy_natalie. 

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City Reporter