SAN LUIS OBISPO – The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) honored Cuesta College’s production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time with eleven national awards and recognition, including Outstanding Performance by an Actor and Distinguished Production of a Play, at the National Awards Ceremony on Apr. 22. The cast and crew were recognized for their work in their invited production showcased at the KCACTF Region 8 Festival last February in Las Vegas. 

The national awards and recognition include: 

  • The Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Award
  • Distinguished Production of a Play
  • Distinguished Director of a Play – bree valle*
  • Outstanding Performance by an Actor – Dylan Hahn
  • Distinguished Performance by an Actor – Jordan Michel
  • Distinguished Performance by an Actor – Harlow Winterfire
  • Distinguished Performance and Production Ensemble
  • Distinguished Production Design
  • Distinguished Projection Design – Alex Woolum
  • Golden Wrench Award – Richard Jackson, Gabe Zufall
  • Performance Fellow – Dylan Hahn 

“Our ensemble is so grateful for this recognition, and our students, the designers, everyone who worked on this show deserves immense credit, but there is one award missing on this list – and that is ‘Most Distinguished Audience,’” said bree valle, Cuesta College Theatre Arts Artistic Director. 

“Our community rallied around this production. They showed up. They were present. It sometimes sounds cliché, but we could not have mounted this show on a national stage without the help and monetary assistance of so many supporters. We are honored and humbled by your advocacy of this important story.”

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, the Broadway adaptation of Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel, made its Cuesta College premiere in Dec. 2022 to sold-out performances. Fifteen-year-old Christopher has an extraordinary brain; he is exceptionally intelligent but ill-equipped to interpret daily life. He sets out to identify the true culprit when he is accused of a crime, leading to an earth-shattering discovery and a life-changing journey.  

This is Cuesta College Theatre Arts’ fifth time representing the western region of the United States at KCACTF and receiving national accolades, beginning in 2014 when the original play pool ’63 received five national awards. The Kennedy Center also honored the college’s productions of Refried Elvis (2016) with six awards, Man of La Mancha (2018) with fourteen awards, and Ghost Ship (2019) with ten awards, including Outstanding Theatrical Creation. In Feb. 2021, bree valle received the Kennedy Center Gold Medallion, considered one of the top honors in theatre education.  

For questions about Cuesta College Theatre Arts, please call (805) 546-3195 or visit their website. For more information about the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, please visit their website


*bree valle does not capitalize her first or last name