June 2012

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June 2012

News & Notices

In Memoriam: Stephanie "Stevie" Dawson

Stephanie Louise Dawson of Durham, North Carolina and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a professor, technical director, and production manager in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Tulane University, died on March 15 at Duke University Hospital. She was 44 years old, and was known to her colleagues as Stevie.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made payable to the UNCSA Foundation, specifying the "Stevie Dawson" Scholarship Fund for the School of Design & Production, and mailed to: School of Design & Production, c/o UNCSA, 1533 S Main St, Winston-Salem, NC 27127.

Ms. Dawson's career in theatre production and teaching was distinguished by her technical and collaborative skill as well as her gift for mentoring and inspiring others.

She used both engineering skills and an understanding of narrative drama in her work.

She had been a member of USITT for more than 20 years and was a member of SETC.

Stevie had worked extensively as a theatre professional in the Southeastern United States before joining the Tulane faculty as professor, technical director, and production manager.

She graduated magna cum laude from East Carolina University in 1992, earning a bachelor of fine arts with a concentration in design and production and the Outstanding Senior Award from the Department of Theatre Arts. She received her MFA in technical direction from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in 2004 with a thesis that engineered affordable and accessible automation for small and mid-sized theatres.

Her involvement in the theatre began when she was a student at Carrington Junior High School and Northern Durham High School, where she acted in school plays and developed an interest in technical production.

She met her husband, Ken White, a theatrical lighting designer, while working at the Birmingham Summerfest in 1990. They married in 1993.

Her life-long fight with cystic fibrosis included graduating from college in five years in spite of a dozen hospitalizations, and coping with illness during numerous summer stock and professional seasons. She received a double lung transplant in 2000 while completing her master's degree.

She thrived for 12 years post-transplant, but was hospitalized in May 2011 and had a 10-month battle with complications stemming from her transplant.