Delbert Unruh

Professor Emeritus
Primary office:


Delbert Unruh is a Professor of Theatre. In addition to his stage design work at the University of Kansas, he maintains an active professional design practice in the Kansas City area and his work has been seen on the stages of The Missouri Repertory Theatre, The American Heartland Theatre, and Dinner Playhouse Inc.

He has received the Kansas City Best Of Theatre Award for best set design twice, in 1989 for How The Other Half Loves and in 1990 for Blithe Spirit.

Unruh's design work has also been featured in many regional, national, and international design exhibitions, most notably: Macbeth, in the 1980 First Biennial USITT Scenography Exposition; Antigone, in the Czechoslovak Section of the 1987 Prague Quadriennale; Come Back To The Five & Dime, Jimmy Dean, in the 1990 International Exposition of Scenography in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia; and The Tempest in the 1997 International Exposition of Film and Theatre Design, Tokyo, Japan.

An acknowledged authority on American and Czechoslovakian stage design theory, Unruh is a Contributing Editor to Theatre Design & Technology, the journal of the United States Institute For Theatre Technology. In that capacity, he has written many articles on the history, relationships, and contemporary application of American and European design theory.

He has received the Herbert Greggs Award for excellence in writing for TD&T three times: in 1986 for his article, "Scenography, Ethics, And The American Tradition Of Scene Design"; in 1992 for his five article series, "Post Modern Issues In Action Design," and in 2003 for his series of articles "The Shattered Mirror, A Theatre in Search of Itself."

He has had two books published: The Designs of Ming Cho Lee in 2005 and Towards A New Theatre, The Lectures of Robert Edmond Jones in 1992.

Teaching Interests

  • Scenography

Research Interests

  • Scenography
  • Design Theory

Upcoming Events
Connect with KU Theatre & Dance