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Department of Theatre 2022

Department Honors for Undergraduate Theses

  • Emily Brooks
    Going on Seventeen: “Type”, the Ingenue, and Teenage Girlhood Onstage”
  • Samara Malik
    A Phantom? In My Opera? It’s More Likely Than You Think: Staging Cinematic Devices in Order to Place Theatre Competitively Within the Horror Genre
  • Jackson Owen
    More than a Chart: Enhancing doctor-patient communication through Practice in Narrative Medicine and Performance Training
  • Emily  Zhang
    “You and then Me”: Radical Representations of Love in Contemporary Asian American Theatre

Departmental Excellence Award for Undergraduate Students

Recognizes selected students from all four undergraduate classes with strong academic records and outstanding records in theatre production and design


  • Amanda DeLaFuente
  • Isadora Gonzalez


  • Declan Collins
  • Elise Pakiela
  • Veronica Szafoni
  • Lilah Weisman


  • Gabriela Furtado Coutinho
  • Sami DeVries
  • Sunnie Eraso
  • Arella Flur
  • Molly McDermott


  • Emily Brooks
  • Ruby Gibson
  • Claire Kwon

Theatre Departmental Award for Excellence in Leadership and Service

For leadership and service to the theatre department

  • Ilana Abusch

Department Award for Excellence in Acting: The Showcase

Students selected to participate in a showcase for agents and casting directors

  • Ilana Abusch
  • Tom Bentsen
  • Martina Cavard Blanco
  • Ruby Gibson
  • Claire Kwon
  • Meghan McNeive
  • Emily Pate Somé
  • Olivia Pryor
  • Kaela Rosenbaum
  • Arianna Staton
  • Jay Towns
  • Rishi Varma

Department Award for Excellence in Music Theatre: The Showcase

Students selected to participate in a showcase for agents and casting directors

  • Brandon Acosta
  • Tom Bentsen
  • Martina Cavard Blanco
  • Emily Brooks
  • Ruby Gibson
  • Peter Carroll
  • Claire Kwon
  • Mariana Leone
  • Maddie Mazzella
  • Maddie Novak
  • Olivia Pryor
  • Emily Pate Somé
  • Jay Towns
  • Olivia Whitmer

Aurand Harris Award

Awarded to honor excellence in children’s theatre; established in 1998 to honor the late Aurand Harris (C39), who became the most decorated and produced children’s playwright in America

  • Julia Laurenson

Agnes Nixon Playwriting Awards

Provides a cash award and a production to winners of the annual playwriting competition, underwritten by a trust fund established to help playwrights by Northwestern alumna Agnes Nixon, an extremely prolific television writer who created or served as head writer for numerous daytime serials

  • Nina Kissinger
  • Kandace Mack
  • Adam Wurst

Norrenbrock Design Award

Created to commemorate the life and work of Tony Norrenbrock, who died in 1989 and who, though his period of service with the theatre department was relatively brief, inspired countless students with his creativity and love of his craft

  • Hayley Wallenfeldt

Susan Rae Anderson Vetrono and Clarke J. Vetrono Scholarship

Presented to an outstanding theatre student with an interest in children’s theatre

  • Madeline Oberle

Winifred Ward Award

Presented by Zeta Phi Eta to a student interested in creative dramatics; honors the memory of Winifred Ward, a School of Communication faculty member from 1918 to 1950, who cofounded one of the first US children’s theatres and made creative dramatics a new discipline in American education

  • Jessa Shortridge

John Woodbridge Williams Memorial Scholarship

Awarded to a talented design program graduate student, preferably a lighting designer; established in 1994 by family, friends, and colleagues of John Woodbridge Williams—a theatre professor from 1974 to 1992, talented lighting designer, gifted and inspiring teacher, and giving humanitarian—to honor his life and work

  • Yun Lin