Darin Himmerich
UNK director of theatre and technical director, 308.865.8896 and

University of Nebraska at Kearney theatre students received multiple awards at the recent Kennedy Center Theatre Festival (KCACTF) held recently in Ames, Iowa.

The festival is a network of more than 600 academic institutions throughout the country, where theater departments and student artists showcase their work and receive outside assessments by KCACTF respondents.

“This year was the most attended festival in quite a few years,” said Darin Himmerich, UNK director of theatre and technical director. “The Design Expo was much larger than I have ever seen.”

Students who received awards in the competition are listed below, alphabetically by hometown.

Kelsey Coolidge of Indianola placed first in the Theatre Management Challenge and received a Certificate of Merit for her work as stage manager for “The Rocky Horror Show.”

Natalie Burling of Kearney and Nate Rocke of Lincoln made it to the semi-finals of the Irene Ryan Competition. Burling and Rocke selected two scenes to perform for the competition before the festival.

Ryan Hruza of Ord received a Commendation for Assistant Directing at the Faculty Directing Showcase.

Anthony Ford of Southfield, Mich., received a Certificate of Merit for Band Musical Director for his work in “The Rocky Horror Show.”

“I feel our students made a fine showing at the festival this year,” Himmerich said. “We had representation in just about every event, and people noticed our students.”

The festival, which started in 1969, is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide.

Other UNK students who competed in the festival are listed below, alphabetically by hometown.

Axtell –
Jacey Anderson; Kassie Wendell
– Colter Lemmon
Fremont –
Jamie Bentley
Hastings –
Addison Heeren
Lincoln –
Charisa Ramsey; Spencer Wolfe
Kearney –
Kyle Garrelts; Kyle Kuypers
North Platte –
Suzie Deardoff
Omaha –
Madison Hoge
Omaha –
Crystal Schroeder
O’Neill –
Jordan Peterson

Out of State


Atwood –
Tia Hadley
Manhattan –
Carolyn Wirtz