Lights, camera, award: UCCS professor awarded True West title

Feb. 4, 2013

Alexander Nedd
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Kevin Landis is no stranger to the spotlight on stage, having directed and acted in several plays in his career. But it’s his work off stage that continues to impress his colleagues and students around the community.

Landis is an assistant professor of theater and director of theater at UCCS. In December, Landis was given the prestigious True West award for his work with the Prologue Lecture Series, a group committed to the art of theater and acting.

Every year, the award recognizes some of the best directing and acting in the region. The award is given by John Moore, a former Denver Post theater critic and one of the most respected names with theater in the Colorado area.

The Prologue is a collaborative effort that Landis oversees between Theatreworks and Visual and Performing Arts in an effort to connect students with professional acting agencies.

“My joy in working here has been to bring people in and to have students work on a professional stage and have that connection,” Landis said. “It’s very gratifying.”

Landis has attracted the local and national attention of other theater artists to come speak at UCCS. It’s a full-time job that benefits those in the acting community and gives a sense of real-world acting for likely scholars. For Landis, this means everything.

The award-winning season of Prologue this year featured actors and playwrights to speak with students.

“This year we had Sarah Ruhl in October, probably the most famous playwright in America right now,” Landis explained.

“Coming up in March we plan on having Oskar Eustis, who is no doubt the most powerful producer in theater. We just have some great people coming up for next year,” he said.

“One of the best things about the Prologue series, both for the students’ sake and for the community, is that it’s free. You will never have to pay a dime to visit these lectures.”

Landis still makes time for his love of theater by taking part in stage productions. Guiding students along the way, Landis has directed the plays of “Salome,”  “The Inspector General” and “The Bacchae.”

For the spring semester, he plans on directing the hit musical “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson,” set to open in March.

Landis has been with VAPA for three and a half years and has also acted with Theatreworks and other professional companies.

The productions “Church” and Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost” are among his recently produced plays.