Theatre design students advance to Kennedy Center national festival

Tue, 03/19/2024


Lisa Coble-Krings

LAWRENCE — Two Department of Theatre & Dance students will represent the University of Kansas in April at the national Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) in Washington, D.C., following their recent KCACTF-Region V competition.

Two portraits of award-winning KU students Hana Rose North and Edmund Ludlum. Both are shown from shoulders up and smile and look directly at the camera. Red and blue confetti flank their photos.
From left, Hana Rose North and Edmund Ludlum.

Hana Rose North, a sophomore in theatre design from Salina, earned a National Sound Design award for “Collective Rage: A Play in Five Betties.” Edmund Ludlum, a senior in theatre design and history of art from Topeka, earned a National Costume Design award for “Cabaret” and a Representation, Equity, and Diversity Principles in Design award.

Outstanding work from the department was also recognized through 13 regional commendations, which were all tied to fully realized University Theatre productions in 2023. The following is a list of those commendations:

For the production of “Collective Rage: A Play in Five Betties” by Jen Silverman

  • Cast for Ensemble Performance.
  • North for Sound Design.
  • Kennedy Tolar, a junior in theatre from Tulsa, Oklahoma, for Stage Management.

“Cabaret” by John Kander and Fred Ebb

  • Cast for Ensemble Performance.
  • Ludlum for Costume Design.
  • Jonah Greene, doctoral candidate in theatre studies, for Dramaturgy.
  • Leah Mazur, a guest artist, KU graduate and area head of the BFA in Design and Technology for the Department of Theatre & Dance at the University of Texas-Arlington, for Scenic Design.

“Love and Information” by Caryl Churchill

  • Greene for Dramaturgy.
  • Sara Baird, an MFA in scenography student from Tulsa, Oklahoma, for Lighting Design.
  • Kieran Spears, a recent KU graduate from Lawrence, for Sound Design.

“Milking Christmas: A New Musical” written by Friend Dog Studios and Ryan McCall

  • Connor Maloney, a junior in theatre design from Wichita, for Stage Management.
  • Brad Mathewson, a freelance writer and recent KU graduate, for Dramaturgy & Lobby Design.
  • Tara Leigh Burgat, a senior in dance and freelance choreographer and performer based in Kansas City, for choreography.
Sound design and costume design drawings, fabric swatches, sound cue sheet, and notes are among the ephemera shown hanging on a wall. These materials were used by students as their backdrop when talking with judges about their work.
KU theatre design students used sound design and costume design drawings, fabric swatches, sound cue sheet and notes as their backdrop when talking with KCACTF judges about their work.

“We’re extremely proud of our students’ talent and hard work,” said Henry Bial, chair of the theatre & dance department. “These achievements — the latest in a long line of regional and national recognitions for KU — also highlight the outstanding education and mentorship provided by our faculty and staff."

Kelly Vogel, head of scenography and associate teaching professor in the department, said getting to share in the growth of the students is always a treat.

 “This conference gives them a chance to receive feedback on their work and experience workshops from professionals outside of our region,” Vogel said. “They leave the conference with a new understanding of how to achieve their goals and a new sense of how their work speaks to other artists.”

The KCACTF-Region V annual conference and awards took place in January 2024 in Des Moines, Iowa. Region V includes Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. Throughout 2023, KCACTF representatives visited Lawrence to judge the submitted plays and provide responses.

KCACTF is a national theatre program created through the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, which celebrates excellence in university and college theatre programs.

The University Theatre is a production wing of the University of Kansas’ Department of Theatre & Dance, offering public productions throughout the academic year. The University Theatre productions are funded in part by KU Student Senate fees with additional support from Truity Credit Union.

Tue, 03/19/2024


Lisa Coble-Krings

Media Contacts

Lisa Coble-Krings

Department of Theatre & Dance