Kaja Dunn, an assistant professor of theatre at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte received the Kennedy Center Medallion from the National Committee of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. A project of the Education Division of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival is one of the leading theatre education organizations in the United States. The Kennedy Center Medallion is the organization’s most prestigious award.
Dunn is being honored for her work addressing issues of race in theatre education.
Gregg Henry, director of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, wrote in the award letter: “For your commitment to revolutionizing rehearsal rooms and classroom spaces by implementing systems that center the most vulnerable, for your practical wisdom that empowers students to take charge of their education and push for safer, healthier and more equitable learning environments and for your commitment to bringing critical race theory scholarship to theatre; highlighting the impact of race on teaching, directing, intimacy direction, and the relationships held at institutions of higher education, we are recognizing the revolutionary impact you’ve had on theatre education.”
Dunn joined the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2016 after serving as a senior lecturer at California State University, San Marcos. She earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in theater performance from Roosevelt University in Chicago and a master of fine arts degree in acting directors from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia.