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Graduate Spotlight

Kate Cardinalli, MFA Theatre: Scenic Design, 2021

Kate Cardinalli (MFA Scenic Design, 2021) graduates next week from the Purdue University Department of Theatre. This talented student joined Purdue after receiving her BFA Production Design for Motion Pictures and Television from the Academy of Art University (San Francisco, California) and has worked in the art departments on commercial, television, and feature shoots; corporate events; and theatrical productions. Her intellectual approach to play analysis leads to truly unique designs.

“Katie Cardinalli has brought a new level of professionalism to the properties area of the Purdue Department of Theatre.” - Faculty Mentor Rusty JonesKate has been very busy at Purdue, working on every main stage production mounted in theDepartment of Theatre over her three years. She served as the scenic designer for three Purdue mainstage productions:Mother Courage and Her Children, In the Blood, and Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley. As the assistant scenic and dragon designer for She Kills Monsters, her work on Tiamat the dragon was not only visually captivating, but laid the foundation for theatre engineering undergraduate seniors’ capstoneprojects. Kate’s appreciation for the minutiae of design makes her an excellent head of properties, serving as such at Purdue for Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches, Nell Gwynn, These Shining Lives, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and By the Way, Meet Vera Stark. Additionally, she was a scenic artist for Next to Normal. In the summer of 2019, Kate worked as a props artisan at Santa Cruz Shakespeare.“Katie creates a design aesthetic that supports a production, one play at a time, one style at a time, and avoids applying a pre-conceived notion to a show.” - Purdue Scenic Artist/Properties Supervisor Jake Wood

 As an instructor for Introduction to Scenic Design and Technology, Kate’s connection with undergraduate students was phenomenal, not simply teaching but introducing them to and creating opportunities for the students to deepen their connection and work in the department and on stages. 

Kate’s encouraging demeanor with students will be missed as she heads back to the Bay Area.  Take some time to look at her portfolio of work at -- congratulations, Katie!