Students awarded at annual theater festival

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Several theater students participated in the annual Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival held Feb. 6-11, at the end of the week, a few lucky students came home with prestigious awards.


UVU prides itself on letting its students experience a hands-on education. This is especially true in the Theater Department, that not only has students perform but also has students in charge of the design for the various productions. Every year, students have the opportunity to present their acting and design skills in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. This year the competition for UVU’s region was held at Weber State College on Feb. 6-11. While many students participated, a select few were awarded for their talents.


During the week of KCACTF, students from various universities presented their work on design elements from plays participating in the festival as well as performed scenes from those plays. For the designers, such as costume, lighting and sound, they are given a four by four foot area to present their design work. After which, they give a five-minute presentation to the festival respondents. The judges then use the notes from the respondents to narrow all the competitors down to just the finalists. The winners are announced at the end of the week at the awards ceremony.


Jason Jensen, a senior Theater Design major with an emphasis in sound, was invited by KCACTF representatives to present his sound design from “Othello.” Jensen’s display included photos from the production as well as an iPad, providing an interactive queue of sounds, so that visitors could listen to the entire play. “Designers have the freedom to do whatever they want to show their design and involvement in the play,” Jensen said.


Seven students, including Jensen, won various awards either in design or acting. Jensen won the Regional Winner for Sound Design, the same award he won last year for his work on “She Stoops to Conquer.” Other UVU winners included Casey Price who was the Regional Design Winner for Scenic Design and Jacob Porter, who won Regional Winner of the Stage Management Fellowship Award.


When they are not competing, participants filled their time by attending workshops. “The week is crammed with all kinds of activities and workshops that have anything and everything to do with theater,” Jensen said. Workshops covered various subjects including dance, sound, lighting and even building 3D models using a printer. Participants can also watch plays brought from the participating universities.


Between the competitions, the workshops and the plays, students had plenty of opportunities to learn and to grow as artists. “It’s a pretty busy week. You always have something to do,” Jensen said.


Irene Ryan Regional Finalists

Daniel Anderson
Joshua French
Andrew Hansen


Regional Design Finalist

Allen Stout – Elephant’s Graveyard, Costume
Jennessa Law – Elephant’s Graveyard, Costume
Jaron Hermansen – Eurydice, Lighting Design
Daniel Whiting – Eurydice, Technical Direction


Regional Directing Finalist

Heather Oberlander
Scene from The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek


National Playwriting Program
—10 Minute Play, Regional Finalists—

Coral Chambers – I Love You More
Wendy Gourley – Mochi


Chicago Style Comedy Scholarship

Eric Phillips


Program Note Award

Wendy Gourley – “Sarah Ruhl, A Distance From Normal”


Scholarly Paper Award —Winner forwarded to national level

Wendy Gourley – “The Federal Theatre Project: A Bastion of Democracy or Communist Propaganda?”


LMDA Fellowship—Winner sent to Kennedy Center in Washington DC

Wendy Gourley – Eurydice


Winner for Scenic Design

Casey Price – Eurydice


Winner for Sound Design

Jason Jensen – Othello


Scholarship Invitation to the Stagecraft Int. of Las Vegas

Daniel Whiting
Jason Jensen
Jaron Hermansen


The State Management Fellowship Award

Jacob Porter – Othello


The Golden Wrench Award

For the load in and load out of Eurydice

By Kelly Cannon
Life Editor

1 thought on “Students awarded at annual theater festival

  1. The cost of higher education is ridiculous, my son wanted to go to college but we could not afford so we choose the High Speed Universities for his education while working now he working for fortune 500

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.