Barry McNamara  |   Published January 18, 2017

Award-winning designer

Curtis ’18 receives prestigious scholarship at KCACTF conference
  • © David Aaron Troy

A Monmouth College student was honored at a recent regional collegiate theatre event.

Scenic designer Natalie Curtis ’18 of Arlington Heights, Ill., received the prestigious Don Childs Memorial Scholarship at the recent Kennedy Center Region 3 American College Theatre Festival.

Curtis was chosen for the award from among 70 student designers in the five-state region. Curtis also received a certificate of merit for her scenic design of last fall’s production of Oedipus Rex and an honorable mention for her scenic design of a last spring’s production of The Tempest.

“The (Childs Memorial Scholarship) is presented in the area of technical theatre to a student designer who displays exceptional talent in their field, and who exemplifies the qualities of dedication, talent and collaboration that contribute to theatre excellence,” said Monmouth theatre professor Doug Rankin, who is also a member of the KCACTF board. “This scholarship will pay for Natalie to study at this summer’s Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas, where she will work with industry leaders in her field.”

Curtis was among a dozen Monmouth students who participated at the week-long theatre festival, held in Indianapolis. The students were accompanied by theatre faculty members Ron Zank and Rankin.

What makes Curtis’ award even more impressive is that she’s not a theatre major or minor. The math major said she appreciates how she has been welcomed by the College’s theatre department. She connected with Rankin while exploring ways to pursue her interest in graphic design.

“I’ve followed his line of design courses, and that’s where I did The Tempest design,” she said. “After that theatre class last spring, the department invited me to design the set for Oedipus Rex.”

Entering Monmouth, Curtis didn’t consider scenic design as a career, but she said that “now it’s on the table,” along with her interests in graphic design, industrial design and architecture.

Curtis said she appreciates the discipline of math because of the way she “learns different ways to approach different problems.”

“It doesn’t always have to relate to something specific like calculus,” she said.

Other students who attended the festival were Cole Downey ’17 of Geneva, Ill., Sam Dummer ’17 of Round Lake Beach, Ill., Jack Godlewski ’18 of Elgin, Ill., AJ Green ’20 of Chicago, Amanda Grissom ’19 of Eldridge, Iowa, Morgan Holle ’17 of Oskalossa, Iowa, Ellen Johnson ’17 of Kewanee, Ill., Carlin Reinig ’18 of Hamilton, Ill., Miles Rose ’19 of Princeton, Ill., Billy Savage ’19 of Hickory Hills, Ill., and Johnny Williams ’17 of Kewanee, Ill.

The students participated in acting, dramaturgy, directing, design storm, and scenery and lighting design competitions. They also attended several workshops and viewed productions from the five-state region.

Back to News & Events

Did you know?

  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College is proudly test optional. Applicants may choose whether or to submit SAT or ACT scores for admission and scholarship consideration. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/admission/apply/test-optional/" target="_blank">Test Optional</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We’re no stranger to winning. Last year the Fighting Scots won Midwest Conference championships in Football, Women’s Soccer, Women’s Basketball and Men’s Track and Field. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="" target="_blank">Fighting Scots</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an educational garden and 6.7 acre farm. Students grow and harvest fruits and vegetables to sell at the local farmer’s market. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="" target="_blank">Garden & Farm</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Textbooks are included in the cost of tuition at Monmouth College. No need to try to plan for an additional expense, and our students start each semester fully prepared for classes. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/offices/student-financial-planning/tuition-fees/" target="_blank">Tuition & Fees</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 98% of Monmouth graduates were employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/wackerle-center/career-services/" target="_blank">Career Services</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an active Pipe & Drum Band. Each year on Scholar’s Day in April the bagpipers wake students up at 6:00 a.m. by playing in the residence halls!</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/music/pipe-band/" target="_blank">Pipe Band</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College covers the cost for all current students to get a U.S. passport. Unlock access to over 198 different countries! We’ll even help with the paperwork :)</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/study-abroad/" target="_blank">Study Abroad</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers several international trips each year during 2-week Scots Terms in January and May. Recently students have traveled to Botswana, Greece, Scotland, Japan, and more. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="" target="_blank">Scots Term</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> While we have the Wells Theater on campus, the Theatre department also uses the block-box auditorium Fusion Theatre downtown Monmouth.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/theatre/" target="_blank">Theatre</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers unique academic minors in Global Public Health and Global Food Security for students who want to use their education to address global challenges. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-public-health/" target="_blank">Global Public Health</a></li><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-food-security/" target="_blank">Global Food Security</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 99% of Monmouth students received some type of scholarship or financial assistance.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/offices/student-financial-planning/types-of-aid/scholarships/" target="_blank">Scholarships</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We offer a certified Peace Corps Preparation program that gives Peace Corps bound graduates a leg up in the application process.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/peace-corps-prep/" target="_blank">Peace Corps Prep</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College is the birthplace of the women’s fraternity movement. Kappa Kappa Gamma and Pi Beta Phi, two of the oldest sororities, were founded at Monmouth in the 1860’s. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/student-life/sororities-fraternities/" target="_blank">Sororities & Fraternities</a></li></ul></div></aside>