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University Relations

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Feb. 1, 2006
Contact: Charla Jenkins, University Theatre, (785) 864-2684.

Two KU design students win awards at regional theater festival

LAWRENCE — Two University of Kansas graduate scenography students won major awards at the Region V Festival of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, held Jan. 22-27 in Fargo, N.D., and Moorhead, Minn.

Robbie Jones, Garden City master’s degree student, was awarded the Barbizon Award for Set Design, the highest award Region V presents to a student designer. As the Barbizon winner, Jones receives an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the KCACTF National Festival, where his scenic design for the University Theatre’s fall production of “Popcorn” will be entered in the national set design competition. Jones also received the first place set design award for his design for “The Fantasticks,” one of the summer productions staged by Kansas Repertory Theatre in 2005.

Sandy Appleoff, Falls City, Neb., master’s degree student, won first place in the Graduate Division in the regional Costume Design Competition for her design of the opera “Turandot.”

The University Theatre/English Alternative Theatre co-production of “An Army of One” by 2005 graduate Zacory Boatright was “very well-received” at the festival, according to John Staniunas, artistic director of the University Theatre.

Two KU theater students were selected to perform in the semifinal round of the Irene Ryan Acting Competition. Dianne-Yvette Cook, Lawrence senior, and Justin Knudsen, Lakeville, Minn., senior, were selected from 290 participants in the acting competition. Both appeared in the fall production “Three Sisters.”

Since 1982, students in the KU scenography program have won four Barbizon Design Awards, three in scenery and one in costume design. KU designers have won the national design competition twice, once in scenery and once in costumes.

KU student award recipients, their hometowns, majors, parents when available, high schools or undergraduate colleges attended and recognitions are:

From Lawrence
Dianne-Yvette Cook, senior theatre major, daughter of Harold and Muriel Cook; Lawrence Free State High School; Irene Ryan Acting Competition semifinals.

From Garden City
Robbie Jones, master’s degree scenography student; Garden City High School and bachelor’s degree from Southwestern College, Winfield; Barbizon Award for Set Design for “Popcorn” and first-place set design for “The Fantasticks.”

From Lakeville
Justin Knudsen, senior theatre major, son of Ken and Barbara Knudsen; Lakeville Senior High School; Irene Ryan Acting Competition semifinals.

Falls City
Sandy Appleoff, master’s degree scenography student, bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University; first place in graduate division in regional costume design competition for “Turandot.”


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