KU News: Theatre design student from Topeka earns 1st place at national contest

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Contact: Lisa Coble-Krings, Department of Theatre & Dance, 785-864-5685, [email protected], @KUTheatre, @KUDanceDept

Theatre design student from Topeka earns 1st place at national contest

LAWRENCE — Two students represented the University of Kansas and showcased their skills as theatrical designers at the recent Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival National competition in Washington, D.C.


Edmund Ludlum, of Topeka, edged out eight other students from across the country to earn a First Place National Award for Costume Design, resulting in a monetary award. Ludlum, who just graduated with dual degrees in theatre design and history of art, competed with their designs for “Cabaret,” the University Theatre’s 2022-23 season finale.


“At the festival in D.C., it was affirming to see theatre professionals and students alike so devoted to making the same changes I am working towards in this field, whether it’s a better work-life balance or centering stories historically ignored,” Ludlum said, adding that they thank KU’s entire “Cabaret” team, especially Costume Shop Manager Gail Trottier. “My accomplishments would not have been possible without her phenomenal work and tireless support to make this show look the way I had envisioned, despite all the stressors and the sheer magnitude of the production.”


Hana Rose North, a Salina native and junior in theatre design, presented to national judges as a finalist in sound design for her work on “Collective Rage: A Play in Five Betties,” KU Theatre’s 2023-24 season opener. North is serving as sound designer for “Indecent,” which is the 2024-25 season opener.


KU Theatre has a tradition of success in the design categories at regional KCACTF competitions, frequently sending multiple students to nationals.


“Edmund’s achievements reflect talent, hard work and dedication, of course, but this award also vindicates KU’s approach to training students broadly across multiple areas of theatre, including history and theory as well as practical skills,” said Henry Bial, professor and chair of the Department of Theatre & Dance.


The KCACTF National Festival took place April 21-26 in Washington, D.C. Students were able to attend workshops, learn from professionals and create contacts within the industry.


The University Theatre and University Dance Company are production wings of the University of Kansas’s Department of Theatre & Dance.





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Erinn Barcomb-Peterson, director of news and media relations, [email protected]


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