News Release Library
February 15, 2012

St. Edward's University Theater Students Receive Top Honors at USITT Symposium,

Three St. Edward’s University Theater Arts students, Eileen Chaffer ’12, Austin Rausch ’12 and Jordyn Campbell ’12, exhibited their work at the United States Institute for Theatre Technology Southwest Regional Symposium held at Oklahoma State University on Jan. 14–16. They were accompanied by Kathryn Eader, assistant professor of Theater Art Design, their advisor.

Chaffer, Rausch and Campbell are all seniors who will graduate this May. All have a costume emphasis within their degrees, although Campbell has an interest in the wig/make-up emphasis as well. 

This was the first year that students from the St. Edward’s University Theater Arts program have attended and participated in a USSIT student chapter. Their work was displayed for the design and technology competition which focused on sound, lighting, scenery, costume, make-up and wig, and prop design, as well as costume technician, stage management and technical direction work.

Two of the students were awarded several honors at the symposium:

Chaffer won the Excellence in Costume Technology, the top honor in Costume Technology, for "Lord of the Underworld" costume. This award includes a week of design shadowing at the Dallas Costume Shoppe. Chaffer’s award will give her insight into how a major professional costume shop is run, the techniques they use. She will also have the opportunity to develop contacts that will help her in her career.

Rausch won the top honor of Excellence in Costume Design for his costume designs for "The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabbler." Get a behind-the-scene look at the making of the Mary Moody Northen Theatre’s production of “The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabbler.” Watch our video.

Rausch also won one of the two overall "Excellence in Design" awards. This award includes paid conference fees to the National Conference in March. This opportunity to attend the National Conference will expose Rausch to many valuable workshops and increase his skill-level. Rausch will also have the opportunity to show his portfolio and receive feedback from many major professionals in the business.

In addition, both students received research books about the theater arts field that are beneficial to have and will assist them for the rest of their careers.

During the competition process, judges are not allowed to ask what school the students are from. “As the judges were looking at Jordyn's, Austin's and Eileen's work, one of them asked me, ‘What school are you guys from?’” Eader said. “He was so impressed with their work, he broke his own rule!”

Congratulations to the students for their achievements at the USITT-Southwest Regional Symposium, and also their mentors, Costume Shop Manager Theresa Mancuso and Costume Shop Coordinator Michelle Heath.

USITT is an organization of design, production, and technology professionals, educators, and students in the performing arts and entertainment industry. This regional competition included students from Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Louisiana.