• Home
  • Students Earn Top Honors at Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

Students Earn Top Honors at Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Three University of Kansas student designers who attended the recent Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF), Region V went home with first place awards from the judging panel:

four headshots of the top KCACTF winnersNational First Place:
Lexey Jost, second year MFA student from Hutchinson: scenic design for "Spring Awakening"

Katelynn Schultz, senior from Oskaloosa: costume design for "Perfect Arrangement"

Kayleigh Shaffer, junior from Olathe: sound design for "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time"

All of the above were actualized designs for productions of KU’s University Theatre.

Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas Awards:

Hanah Glimpse, sophomore from Phoenix, Ariz., received a paid intensive theatre internship for scenic design for “Othello,” an academic project.


One faculty member and the following students earned certificates of merit from the KCACTF Region V judge who attended and responded to the University Theatre productions.

Nathan Bowman, PhD student from Kansas City, Mo., for directing and sound design on “Electra”

Lusie Cuskey, PhD candidate from Louisville, Ky., for directing “A Man of No Importance”

Rana Esfandiary, Visiting Assistant Professor, for scenic design on “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”

Timmia Hearn Feldman, graduate student from Lawrence, for dramaturgy on “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”

Lexey Jost, second year MFA student from Hutchinson, for scenic design on “Spring Awakening”

Katelynn Schultz, senior from Oskaloosa, for costume design on “Perfect Arrangement”

Kate Smeltzer, second year MFA student from Kansas City, for costume design on “Spring Awakening”

Abbey Lynn Smith, recent graduate/class 2018, for lighting design on “Perfect Arrangement”

The three first place winners will compete at the National Conference in Washington D.C. held in April. This marks back-to-back honors for Shaffer, who is returning to Nationals in the sound design category. In this year’s win, Shaffer credits her collaborator Matthew O'Brien, a Kirkwood, Mo., junior, who composed the original music for the University Theatre’s production of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.”

The KCACTF Region V annual conference and awards took place Jan. 20-26 in Sioux Falls, S.D. Region V includes Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. At various times during 2018, representatives of KCACTF came to Lawrence to judge the submitted plays and provide critiques.

The University Theatre is a production wing of the University of Kansas’ Department of Theatre & Dance, offering six public productions during the academic year. The University Theatre productions are funded in part by Student Senate fees, and supported by Truity Credit Union.

The Department of Theatre & Dance is one of three departments in the School of the Arts. As part of the KU College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, the School of the Arts offers fresh possibilities for collaboration between the arts and the humanities, sciences, social sciences, international and interdisciplinary studies.

For more information on the Department of Theatre & Dance, visit theatredance.ku.edu. For more information on the University Theatre, visit KUTheatre.com or follow KU Theatre on Facebook and Instagram.

A picture of an ensemble on stage








Spring Awakening, University Theatre production, Spring 2018

Photo of two female figures rushing around a coffee table in a living room scene








"Perfect Arrangement," University Theatre production, Spring 2018

Photo of ensemble on stage. One figure lays in a fetal position on the stage. The others sit behind him. Letters are falling from the sky.








"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," University Theatre production, Fall 2018

Production photographer: Luke Jordan


COVID-19 and Our Production Season

In accordance with federal, state, and local guidelines and in the interest of protecting the health and safety of our patrons, students, faculty, and staff, all upcoming performances by the University Theatre and University Dance company have been postponed or cancelled. Indecent has been rescheduled to perform October 2-8, 2020. We are not planning to reschedule Urinetown at this time. The box office has been in contact with all ticketholders to arrange for refunds or credits toward future performances. Please email us with any questions to theatretickets@ku.edu. Thank you for your past and future support of Theatre and Dance at KU!

Upcoming Events

Click for Audition Information

Connect with the University Theatre


Sign Up for Email Updates
KU Today