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The scene design work of Joe Holbrook was recognized as part of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival awards event in April 2009. At left is Mr. Holbrook's design for Urinetown.

Photos/Courtesy KCACTF

KC/ACTF Announces Winners

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced 38 national awardees at the 41st annual Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) in April. Students from universities and colleges from across the United States secured their places at the national festival and the opportunity to earn awards, scholarships, and fellowships through their success at regional festivals in January and February.

Developed by Roger L. Stevens, Kennedy Center founding chairman, the KCACTF is dedicated to encouraging, recognizing, and celebrating the finest and most diverse work produced in college and university theater programs. The eight regional festivals and national festival provide an opportunity for college and university theater departments to present their work, especially new or student-written work, and to receive outside assessment. Since its establishment in 1969, the KCACTF has reached more than 17.5 million theatergoers, students, and teachers nationwide.

The recipients of the design awards, scholarships, and fellowships announced at the national festival follow.

The Barbizon Awards for Excellence in Scenic, Costume, and Light Design proved an honorarium of $500 and an expenses paid trip to New York City for the National Design Portfolio Review at the Lincoln Center, as well as a professional development residency to all recipients.

In the Blood, costumes design by Marian Cooper

The Barbizon Award for Excellence in Costume Design goes to Marian Cooper of Temple University. Honorable mentions go to Stephanie Kucsera of University of Indianapolis, Mercedes O’Bannion of Mesa Community College, and Bich Do of Sam Houston State University.

The Barbizon Award for Excellence in Lighting Design goes to Marciel Greene of Ball State University. The runner-up was Gregory Contreras of Florida International University. An honorable mention goes to Stephanie Malone of Linfield College.

The Darker Faces lighting design of Marciel Greene, shown here, was recognized with The O’Neill Playwrights’ Conference Design Fellowship and the Barbizon Award for Excellence in Lighting Design. She is a student at Ball State University.

The Barbizon Award for Excellence in Scenic Design goes to Joe Holbrook of California State University-Fullerton. The runner-up was Nick Quinn of University of Illinois-Champaign Urbana. An honorable mention goes to Jessica Emerson and Emily Gorecki of the University of New Haven.

The KCACTF and Alcone Make-Up Awards give outstanding student designers national recognition and the opportunity to exhibit their work at the Kennedy Center. The 2009 Award goes to Kelly McBane, Slippery Rock University.

The KCACTF Sound Design Award goes to Patricia Cardona, Penn State University.

The O’Neill Playwrights’ Conference Design Fellowships go to Ms. Greene, for lighting design, and Ms. Cardona, for sound design. Both recipients receive a residency at the O’Neill National Playwrights’ Conference in Waterford, Connecticut.

The National Partners of the American Theater Award for Design Excellence is presented to one of the Design Award finalists displaying their work at the Kennedy Center. The award is co-sponsored by the Korean National University of the Arts (KNUA), and the 2009 recipient, Nick Quinn of the University of Illinois-Champaign Urbana, will spend an expense-paid week in Seoul, Korea visiting theatre design and traditional arts classes, visiting various design studios, and attending performances.

For over 35 years, the Kennedy Center Education Department has provided quality arts experiences through performances, residencies, workshops, conferences, career development programs, symposia, and on-line and print resources. In the past year, the Center’s education programs have directly impacted more than 11 million people across the nation. For more information, visit the Center’s web site.

Theater at the Kennedy Center and the Stephen and Christine Schwarzman Legacy Award for Excellence in Theater are presented with the generous support of Stephen and Christine Schwarzman. The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival is sponsored by The U.S. Department of Education; Dr. Gerald and Paula McNichols Foundation; The Kennedy Center Corporate Fund; and The National Committee for the Performing Arts.

For more information about KCACTF, visit

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