Department of Theatre & Dance Names 2022 Scholarship and Award Winners

The University of Kansas Department of Theatre & Dance recognized 53 students as recipients of its year-end awards and scholarships, totaling over $225,000 in financial support.  

“Our awards and scholarships give us a chance to celebrate some of our students’ many stellar accomplishments and make a real difference in helping them achieve their goals,” said Henry Bial, professor and department chair. “We are thankful for the many generous alumni and friends whose donations aid students financially. The Department has more than three dozen named scholarships and awards, which preserve our donors’ legacies through the support of burgeoning theatre and dance artists.” 

"two portraits of young people. One is a woman wearing a white sundress with big smile. the other is a man wearing a green collared shirt and a slight goatee with a serious look on his face"

The Kuhlke Humanitarian Award was presented to Maya Gold, of Vernon Hills, Ill., who completed her BA in dance, for humanitarian service to the Department. The Kilty Kane Award, the highest award that can be given in recognition of outstanding contributions made to the University Theatre, was presented to Chris Pendry, of Lawrence, who completed his BGS in theatre performance with a double major in film production. Both students contributed significantly to the life of the Department, both on and offstage, Bial said. Additionally, Katherine Pryor, a longtime administrator in the Department who most recently served as Director of the University Theatre, was co-named this year’s Kilty Kane Award recipient in honor of her retirement. Both awards are named for actors (Jerome Kilty and Emeritus Professor William Kuhlke) credited with memorable performances as guest artists in Murphy Hall. 

The Elizabeth Sherbon Award, named for the retired KU professor of dance who established the dance major at KU, was presented to outstanding dance students. This year’s recipients are Johnny Dinh Phan, of Overland Park., a BFA student double-majoring in Biochemistry, and Olivia Johnson, of Clive, Iowa, a BA student double-majoring in Mathematics. Both recently completed their junior year. 

Scholarship and award recipients are as follows: 


Katelyn Arnold, Topeka, Julie Damron-Dittmer Scholarship  

Anna Avery, Overland Park, Claire Reinhold Scholarship  

Lane Barrette, Basehor, Allen Crafton Memorial Scholarship, Patricia Joyce Ellis Scholarship  

Renee Cyr, Lawrence, Donald and Betty Dixon Scholarship in Theatre, Margaret Bushong Theatre Scholarship 

Johnny Dinh Phan, Overland Park, Elizabeth Sherbon Award, Lee Family Scholarship in Dance 

Syndey Ebner, Shawnee, Janet Hamburg Dance Scholarship  

Andrew Ens, Olathe, Theatre General Scholarship 

Ella Galbraith, Andale, Shirley and Tom P. Rea Memorial Award  

Coy Garrett, Lawrence, Loren Kennedy Traineeship  

Jake Gillespie, Lawrence, Jack B. Wright Award 

Samantha Gotskind, Overland Park, Claire Reinhold Scholarship 

Stephanie Hartz, Topeka, Dance General Scholarship 

Anna Hastings, Olathe, Janet Hamburg Dance Scholarship 

Timmia Hearn DeRoy, Lawrence, Joseph R. Roach Dissertation Research Award 

Isobel Langham, Topeka, Dance General Scholarship 

Cassandra Ludlum, Topeka, Marilyn Hunt Scharine Costume Design Award, New Theatre Guild Foundation: William and Penny Gamm Scholarship, and Margaret Bushong and Suzanne Calvin Scholarship 

India MacDonald, Topeka, New Theatre Guild Foundation: Don Knotts Scholarship, Loren Kennedy Trainee Co-Coordinator, and Richard Kelton Memorial Scholarship, George Sundstrom Travel Award  

Connor Maloney, Wichita, Alexis and Craig Stevens Performing Arts Scholarship, Loren Kennedy Scholarship/Traineeship, Kari Wahlgren Theatre Scholarship 

Brad Mathewson, Topeka, Charles “Buddy” Rogers Scholarship  

Knox McClendon, Topeka, Glenn Bickle Award, Stephanie Ann Smith Memorial Scholarship 

Rachel Meyer, Topeka, Gerhard Zuther Memorial Award for Dramatic Scriptwriting, Julie Damron-Dittmer Scholarship 

Olly Mitchell, Maize, Alexis and Craig Stevens Performing Arts Scholarship, Loren Kennedy Traineeship 

Caleb Parish, Lawrence, George Sundstrom Travel Award 

Chris Pendry, Lawrence, Kilty Kane Award 

Diego Rivera-Rodriguez, Lawrence, Friends of the Theatre Reese Saricks Scholarship, Loren Kennedy Scholarship/Trainee Co-Coordinator  

John Dylon Rohr, Arkansas City, Laura Louise Pryor Award, Brian Ten Eyck Davis Award 

Anna Shelton, Hesston, Dance General Scholarship, Patricia Joyce Ellis Scholarship  

Jenny Sledge, Lawrence, Loren Kennedy Scholarship  

Lauren Smith, Topeka, Julie Damron-Dittmer Scholarship, Loren Kennedy Traineeship  

Jonathan Wall, Iola, Claire Reinhold Scholarship 

Annika Wallace, Atchison, Claire Reinhold Scholarship 

Hazel Youngquist, Perry, Patricia Joyce Ellis Drama Scholarship, George Sundstrom Travel Award 



Alexandria Demps, Kansas City, Mo., Dance General Scholarship, Bernadette Robinson Scholarship 

Molly Robinson, St. Louis, Mo., Dance General Scholarship, Harry B Craig Dance Scholarship 


Other States and Countries 

Marzieh Ashrafian, Iran, Ethel Hinds Burch Outstanding New GTA in Theatre Award, Susan Tisdall Niven Scholarship  

Taylor Cheek, Oklahoma, Barbara Nordling Dance Scholarship  

Abbey Gabriel, California, Donald and Betty Dixon Scholarship in Theatre  

Hannah Gassman, Illinois, George Sundstrom Travel Award  

Maya Gold, Illinois, Kuhlke Humanitarian Award  

Jonah Greene, Arkansas, Ethel Hinds Burch Outstanding Returning GTA in Theatre Award, New Theatre Guild Foundation: Jacqueline and Curt Stokes Scholarship, Adah Clarke Hagen Scholarship in Theatre 

Alex Hunt, Minnesota, Edna Bulkley Dance Scholarship 

Olivia Johnson, Iowa, Elizabeth Sherbon Award, General Dance Scholarship, Juanita Strait Scholarship  

Cullen Krishna, Nebraska, Janet Hamburg Dance Scholarship  

Taiane Lacerda, Brazil, Adah Clarke Hagan Scholarship in Theatre, Susan Tisdall Niven Scholarship, Theatre General Scholarship  

Annalee Larsen, Nebraska, Jump Start Award  

Isabella Lind, California, Jon T. Eicholtz and Barbara Eden Acting Scholarship, George Sundstrom Travel Award  

Webster McDonald, Jamaica, Social Justice Award, New Theatre Guild Foundation: Dennis D. Hennessy and Richard Carrothers Scholarship, Ambrose Saricks Family Scholarship, Moxie Talent Agency Scholarship  

Madison Meade, Nebraska, Jump Start Award  

Olivia Pennell, Illinois, Dance General Scholarship, Patricia Joyce Ellis Scholarship 

Grace Stephan, Iowa, Patricia Joyce Ellis Scholarship 

Asher Suski, Iowa, New Theatre Guild Foundation: Dodie Myers Brown Scholarship, John David Lentz Memorial Scholarship, Julie Damron-Dittmer Scholarship, Loren Kennedy Traineeship  

Rory Sweedler, Colorado, Elizabeth Sherbon Scholarship  

Lindsay Webster, Michigan, Ethel Hinds Burch Outstanding Returning GTA in Theatre Award, David E. Blackwell Scholarship