Design Competition

Check out our photo album on Facebook to see images of award-winning designs from the 2019 Design Competition held at our annual convention. We can’t wait to see what the winning designs will look like in 2020!

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

Cadie Burks

Educational Services Manager
Email Cadie

2020 Competition Categories

Costume Technology

Sponsor TBA

New! Makeup Design

Sponsored by Norcostco with prizes contributed by Ben Nye, Iwata and Mehron

Projection Design

Sponsored by Broadway Media Distribution

Properties Design & Construction

Sponsor TBA

Sound Design

Sponsored by Shure, Inc.

Technical Direction & Construction

Sponsor TBA

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 TBA
2019 Awards Sponsored by Lexington Children’s Theatre, The Rose Theater, 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.

Congratulations to Last Year’s Award Winners

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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