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USITT Taps Ten Rising Theatre Artists for 2016 Young Designers & Technicians Awards

USITT Taps Ten Rising Theatre Artists for 2016 Young Designers & Technicians Awards

USA - USITT will recognise ten young technical theatre artists with its 2016 Young Designers & Technicians Awards in the Performing Arts.

The awards, known as the YD&T Awards, bring acclaim and support to early career designers and technicians, through generous funding from industry sponsors. The awards will be presented on Thursday 17th March, at USITT 2016 in Salt Lake City in a special session featuring remarks by Steve Younkins, creator of Q2Q Comics, a web comic devoted to theatre tech.

YD&T winners receive free registration to the four-day USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo 16th - 19th March, plus cash prizes and an impressive addition to their resumes. Followinf are the winners and some judges’ comments on their work:

Costume Awards

Zelma H. Weisfeld Costume Design & Technology Award: Sophie Schneider, Carnegie Mellon University, MFA May 2016

“Her work exemplifies maturity and artistry for a student ready to enter the professional world. Her understanding of art and design principles is evident in her designs for Three Sisters, The Beggar’s Opera, and The Nina Variations. Each feels like a complete, professionally designed production, with a keen understanding of the technical aspects.”

Barbara Matera Award in Costume Making, sponsored by Judy Adamson: Sharon Limpert, Carnegie Mellon University, MFA May 2016

“She shows a strong eye for proportion and detail, and her work not only realises the designer’s vision, but adds another dimension … A true find, someone whose potential is so evident as to be worthy of the Matera award.”

USITT Make-up Design Award, sponsored by Kryolan Professional Make-up: Yu-Ang Teng, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, MFA May 2016

“Very talented with execution and application of diverse styles of make-up. Prosthetic makeup and wig construction is amazing!”

Scenic Awards

USITT W. Oren Parker Undergraduate Scene Design Award: Paul Dufresne, Pepperdine University, BA May 2016

“Great sense of space – and how to fill it to tell the story. I love the simplicity of the work, but the precision of the details. Clearly we don’t need Broadway budgets to tell a story and to create an evocative space … Very exciting work!”

USITT Scene Design Award sponsored by Rose Brand: Mingshuo Zhao, University of California-San Diego, MFA March 2016

“The model work here is very professional and the sketches have a wonderful moody quality to them. Mingshuo is exceptionally talented and his work is simply stunning.”

Technology Awards

KM Fabrics, Inc. Technical Production Award: Kate Newman, Yale School of Drama, MFAMay 2015

“Her portfolio shows great success overcoming a variety of technical and management challenges. Being comfortable in the variety of settings shown (trade show, theatre production, academic theatre) is impressive.”

Bernhard R. Works, Frederick A. Buerki Scenic Technology Award: Dane Styczynski, University of Wisconsin-Madison, MFA 2015

“The quality of his projects and presentation is very high. The work shows an ability to find and executive creative solutions for a varied assortment of production requirements.”

Lighting and Sound Design

Robert E. Cohen Sound Achievement Award: Almeda Beynon, Carnegie Mellon University, MFA May 2016

“Almeda seems to be pushing the field of sound design into multiple disciplines far beyond the theatre. That kind of work is both exciting in its own right and interesting as it begins to inform work done for the stage.”

USITT Lighting Design Award sponsored by Barbizon Lighting Company: Andie Szekely, Southern Utah University, BFA May 2016

“This work is very nice – thorough, complete and intriguing. This is a designer who clearly enjoys the pre-production process and incorporated the concept into the paperwork and ultimately the product.”

Stage Management

USITT Stage Management Award sponsored by Clear-Com Communications Systems: Julie Maury, University of Texas at Austin, BFA December 2015

“Excellent resume. Excellent paperwork in general. A particularly excellent prompt book. I feel I could call the show cold.”

Undergraduate YD&T winners also will receive a one-year premium membership in Stage Jobs Pro, courtesy of the theatre jobs site

2016 is the 21st year of the YD&T Awards. USITT, the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, is the national non-profit association for live entertainment production professionals. Visit USITT at

3rd February 2016

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