A member of the PC faculty for nearly three decades, Professor Lesley Preston is the 2019 SCICU Excellence In Teaching award winner for Presbyterian College. She holds an M.F.A. in theatre design from the University of Calgary and a B.A. in theatre from Dalhousie University.
Prior to moving to South Carolina, Preston worked extensively in Canada as a scenic artist and designer. She designed the world premiere of “Step/Dance” for Neptune Theatre and was involved with the Nova Scotia Tattoo, a military spectacular, for over ten years.
Since joining the Presbyterian faculty in 1991, Professor Preston has developed and taught multiple courses in theatre design and theatre history. Her students have successfully pursued graduate degrees and a number work professionally in theatre design. In 2013 Preston and colleague Miriam Ragland won the Association for Theatre in Higher Education Prize for Innovative Teaching for their theatre studies major that focused exclusively on student-devised work.
Preston’s leadership at PC has included chairing the theatre department, chairing the Academic Master Plan Task Force, revising the college honor code, and serving on the Faculty Senate. She has also served on the board of the South Carolina Theatre Association and as the chair of the cCollege and university division of the Southeastern Theatre Conference.
Professor Preston has designed over seventy productions at PC and received numerous Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Excellence in Design awards for that work. She has continued to design professionally, with over fifteen productions at Warehouse Theatre, Centre Stage, and GLOW in Greenville.
According to Dr. Laura Crary, Professor of Art History, “Lesley Preston’s designs elevate stage sets from context and surroundings to artistic installations on their own.”