Design Competition

For Graduate and Undergraduate Students

Each year, graduate and undergraduate students display their design and technology work at the annual SETC Convention.

Entrants have a chance to be critiqued by Distinguished Career Designers — modern masters of design with national and international reputations. The experts use an open, one-on-one critique format to offer invaluable learning for all in attendance — whether a student, professor or professional.

Winners in the competition receive cash, product or experience awards (depending on the competition category and sponsor), a certificate of achievement, and recognition in SETC News. Categories are listed below.

Questions?

For more information, please contact:

Matthew Leckenbusch

SETC Design Committee Chair
Email Matthew

Lee Crouse

SETC Educational Services Manager
Email Lee

2020 Competition Categories

Costume Crafts

Sponsored by
Norcostco,Inc.
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Costume Design

Sponsored by
Norcostco, Inc.
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Costume Technology

Sponsored by
Costume Society of America

Makeup Design

Sponsored by
Norcostco, Inc.
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Projection Design

Sponsored by
Broadway Media Distribution

Properties Design & Construction

Sponsored by
TTS Studios 

Sound Design

Sponsored by
Shure, Inc.
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Technical Direction & Construction

Sponsored by
Productions Unlimited, Inc.

Ready to Design Awards (previously Ready to Work)

All graduate-level entries to the Design Competition will be considered for Ready to Design Awards. No additional applications or fees are required.

2020 Award Sponsors Lexington Children’s Theatre, Patel Conservatory, Serenbe Playhouse and Triad Stage
This unique award offers talented graduate student designers the opportunity to work professionally in the field in addition to winning a cash award from SETC. SETC collaborates each year with professional theatres to award Ready to Design. During the Design Competition, each of the theatre professional representatives view the designs and choose their own candidates to interview. Each company chooses from their own finalists. (Winners can only work at one theatre as part of the award.) Winners are announced at the Design Award Ceremony Friday night at the Annual Convention. The award has kick-started several careers as winners return the following season to design at the company.

Stage Management Games

Sponsored by EmptySpace Technology

The SETC Stage Management Committee is excited to announce the 8th annual SETC Stage Management Games. Student stage managers from all training levels are invited to compete in a round-robin of timed events that include: writing cues, recording blocking, taking line notes, taping a plan and checking presets. The top three competitors will advance to a finalist round. Product prizes are awarded to top winners. Anyone attending the convention may participate. There are no fees, just fun.

2020 Distinguished Career Designers & Adjudicators

This panel of esteemed designers adjudicates the Design Competition and will present the Design Keynotes at the 2020 SETC Convention. We are honored to welcome Costume Designer Gregg Barnes, Scenic Designer Anna Louizos, and Sound Designer Matt Hubbs.

2020 Costume Craft Winners
  • 1st Place: Ciara Niamh Smith, Cabaret – Tattoo Creation, University of Oklahoma
  • 2nd Place: Lauren Woods, Banana Peel Loafers, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 3rd Place: Gina Boccolucci, Steel Bowler Hat, Ohio University
2020 Graduate Costume Winners

GRADUATE:

  • 1st Place: Audrey Reed, Salome, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • 2nd Place: Margo Birdwhistell, Blithe Spirit, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • 3rd Place: Rachel Ann Saylor, Little Shop of Horrors, Indiana University Bloomington
  • Honorable Mention: Cindy Moon, Balm in Gilead, Virginia Tech
2020 Undergrad Costume Design

UNDERGRADUATE:

  • 1st Place: Laura Holt, Machinal, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • 2nd Place: Max Hromek, Into the Woods, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • 3rd Place: Annie Wilkinson, The Illusion, Harding University
  • Honorable Mention: Skyler Glaser, Eclipsed, Virginia Commonwealth University
2020 Costume Tech Winners
  • 1st Place: Victoria Cozza, The Three Musketeers, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • 2nd Place: Elizabeth Licata, 1660s Silver Gown, Indiana University Bloomington
  • 3rd Place: Madi Bell, 16th Century Gown, Indiana University Bloomington

Lighting Design

2020 Graduate Lighting Design

GRADUATE:

  • 1st Place: Naomi S. Gold, Big Fish, Indiana University Bloomington
  • 2nd Place: Bill Miller, People Where They Are, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • 3rd Place: Casey Duke, Balm in Gilead, Virginia Tech
  • Honorable Mention: Joy Diaz, The Tempest, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Undergraduate Lighting Design

UNDERGRADUATE:

  • 1st Place: Corey Goulden-Naitove, Anon(ymous), University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • 2nd Place: Sreypech An, Sense and Sensibility, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • 3rd Place: Austin Harber, Eclipsed, Virginia Commonwealth University
2020 Projection Design Winners
  • 1st Place: Sydney Dye, We Will Rock You, Elon University
  • 2nd Place: Katherine Stepanek, Blithe Spirit, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • 3rd Place: Chandler Oppenheimer, Carmen, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Honorable Mention: Silin Chen, How I Learned to Drive, Wake Forest University

Props Design & Construction

2020 Property Design & Construction
  • 1st Place: Gina Boccolucci, She Kills Monsters, Ohio University
  • 2nd Place: Regan Ellward, The Tempest, Clemson University
  • 3rd Place: Sydney Lokant, Steel Work for the Stage, Ohio University
  • Honorable Mention: Claire Wylie, The Life of Galileo, Brevard College
2020 Graduate Scenic Design

GRADUATE:

  • 1st Place: Katherine Stepanek, Million Dollar Quartet, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • 2nd Place: Carrie Ferrelli, People Where They Are, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • 3rd Place: Chris Mueller, Hamlet, Indiana University Bloomington
  • Honorable Mention: Diksha Pilania, Balm in Gilead, Virginia Tech
2020 Undergraduate Scenic Design

UNDERGRADUATE:

  • 1st Place: Silin Chen, Ever in the Glades, Wake Forest University
  • 2nd Place: Travis Martinez, Smart People, Lehigh University
  • 3rd Place: Madalyn Walsh, In the Blood, University of Georgia
2020 Sound Design Winners
  • 1st Place: Gianna Agostino, Far Away, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • 2nd Place: Michael Littrell, Ever in the Glades, Wake Forest University
  • 3rd Place: Tamir Eplan-Frankel, Bent, Elon University
  • Honorable Mention: David Melton, The Tempest, Clemson University
  • Honorable Mention: Jesse Desrosiers, Hills on Fire, University of Florida
2020 Ready to Design Award Design
  • Lexington Children’s Theatre: Audrey Reed, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Triad Stage: Cindy Moon, Virginia Tech
  • Patel Conservatory: Chris Mueller, Indiana University Bloomington
  • Serenbe Playhouse: Carrie Ferrelli, University of Tennessee, Knoxville and Naomi S. Gold, Indiana University Bloomington

Costume Crafts | Sponsored by Norcostco

  • 1st Place: Ashley Sercovich, Southeastern Louisiana University
  • 2nd Place: Toni Gary, University of Southern Mississippi
  • 3rd Place: Jonathan Wentz, University of North Carolina Greensboro
  • Honorable Mention: Margaret Lavigne, College of Charleston

Costume Design | Sponsored by Norcostco

GRADUATE:

  • 1st Place: Stacey Herrison, Texas State University
  • 2nd Place: Emily Tappan, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • 3rd Place: Audrey Reed, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Honorable Mention: Julianne Babel, Florida State University

Costume Design | Sponsored by Norcostco

UNDERGRADUATE:

  • 1st Place: Natasha Cox, College of Charleston
  • 2nd Place: Anthony Fiore, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • 3rd Place: Kyle Artone, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Honorable Mention: Evan Chesney, Harding University

Costume Technology | Sponsored by Betsey Horth

  • 1st Place: Elaine Yuen, Kent State University
  • 2nd Place: Ellis Greer, Indiana University
  • 3rd Place: Rebekah Clow, University of Florida
  • Honorable Mention: Erin Reed, University of Tennessee

Lighting Design | Sponsored by ETC

GRADUATE:

  • 1st Place: Miriah Borden, Texas State University
  • 2nd Place: Helen Garcia-Alton, University of Tennessee
  • 3rd Place: Qier Luo, Indiana University
  • Honorable Mention: Bill Miller, University of Tennessee
  • Honorable Mention: Alice Trent, University of Tennessee
  • Honorable Mention: Jordan Vera, University of Tennessee

Lighting Design | Sponsored by ETC

UNDERGRADUATE:

  • 1st Place: Erin Featherston, Middle Tennessee State University
  • 2nd Place: Rachel Hemm, Ball State University
  • 3rd Place: Brittany Posso, Florida School of the Arts
  • Honorable Mention: Evelyn Rodgers, Wake Forest University
  • Honorable Mention: Matt Middleton, Furman University

Projection Design | Sponsored by Broadway Media Distribution

  • 1st Place: 1st Place: Alice Trent, University of Tennessee
  • 2nd Place: Evan Hamlin, North Greenville University

Props Design & Construction | Sponsored by Friends of Props

  • 1st Place: Chris Mueller, Indiana University
  • 2nd Place: Kathryn Nabors, University of Tennessee
  • 3rd Place: Katie Pulling, Stetson University

Scenic Design | Sponsored by Sculptural Arts Coating

GRADUATE:

  • 1st Place: Katherine Stepanek, University of Tennessee
  • 2nd Place: Jelena Andzic, University of Tennessee
  • 3rd Place: Rebecca Johnson, University of Tennessee
  • Honorable Mention: Jeremy Smith, Indiana University
  • Honorable Mention: Carrie Ferrelli, University of Tennessee

Scenic Design | Sponsored by Sculptural Arts Coating

UNDERGRADUATE:

  • 1st Place (Tie): Sora Mullis, Guilford College
  • 1st Place (Tie): Molly Rodabaugh, University of Tennessee
  • 2nd Place: Jennifer Gould, University of Kentucky
  • 3rd Place: Teila Vochatzer, Brevard College
  • Honorable Mention: Kennon Cliche, University of Memphis

Sound Design | Sponsored by Shure, Inc.

  • 1st Place: Anna Hibbert, Wake Forest University
  • 2nd Place: Lance Perl, Brevard College
  • 3rd Place: Jeremiah Turner, Louisiana State University
  • Honorable Mention: Connor Maloney, Ball State University

Ready to Design | Sponsored by Lexington Children’s Theatre, The Rose Theater, Serenbe Playhouse and Triad Stage

  • Serenbe Playhouse: Alice Trent, University of Tennessee
  • Triad Stage: Erin Reed, University of Tennessee
  • Lexington Children’s Theatre: Emily Tappan, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • The Rose Theater: Katherine Stepanek, University of Tennessee

2019 Distinguished Career Designers & Adjudicators

Each year, a panel of acclaimed designers give keynote presentations and provide feedback on entries to the Design Competition at the annual SETC Convention. In 2019, we were honored to welcome Costume Designer Linda Cho, Sound Designer Victoria (toy) Deiorio, Scenic Designer Riccardo Hernández and Lighting Designer Jonathan Spencer. Click on their names to read about their work, see their advice to young designers, and listen to audio recordings of their keynote presentations.

Linda Cho

Linda Cho

Distinguished Costume Designer

Victoria (toy) Deiorio

Distinguished Sound Designer

Riccardo Hernández

Riccardo Hernández

Distinguished Scenic Designer

Jonathan Spencer

Jonathan Spencer

Distinguished Lighting Designer

KET, a Kentucky-based PBS educational television network, stopped by the 2017 SETC Convention in Lexington, KY, for a behind-the-scenes look at the Design Competition. Participants offered up insights about different fields of theatre design.

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