March 2014

Print this page ›

March 2014

News & Notices

Young Award Winners to be Honored

Patrick Rizzotti

Patrick Rizzotti, Scene Design by RoseBrand, The Good Person of Szechuan

Eleven winners will receive accolades and cash prizes as part of USITT's Awards for Young Designers & Technicians in the Performing Arts program. The presentations are just part of the 2014 Annual Conference & Stage Expo March 26 to 29 at the Fort Worth Convention Center.

Three of the winners are from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, three are from Carnegie Mellon University, and two are from the Yale School of Drama. The other three are from Purdue University, the University of Virginia and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

The awards ceremony will be part of USITT's Opening Night celebration on Wednesday, March 26 beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Convention Center Arena, which will also be used for the biennial Sound Lab.

USITT members from across the country nominated talented young artists who are completing or recently completed their education for the honors, known informally as YD&T Awards. Two new awards, in costume making and scene painting, will be given this year.

The 2014 YD&T winners are:

Sound Design:

Mercer Aplin, of Purdue University – the Robert E. Cohen Sound Achievement Award.

Mercer Aplin

Mercer Aplin, Robert E. Cohen Sound Design, Medea

Lighting Design:

Dan Efros of Carnegie Mellon University – the USITT Lighting Design Award sponsored by Barbizon Lighting Company.

Dan Efros

Dan Efros, Lighting Design Sponsored by Barbizon, Spring Awakening


Lindsay Hinz of the University of Virginia – the Zelma H. Weisfeld Costume Design & Technology Award; Leah Pelz of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill – the Barbara Matera Award in Costume Making, sponsored by Judy Adamson.

Lindsay Hinz, Zelma H. Weisfeld

Lindsay Hinz, Zelma H. Weisfeld Award, You Can't Take It With You

Leah Pelz

Leah Pelz, Barbara Matera Award in Costume Making, Sally Bowles dress for Cabaret


  • Nicholas Christiani of Yale – the Bernhard R. Works' Frederick A. Buerki Scenic Technology Award, known as the "Golden Hammer" award.
  • Patrick Rizzotti of CMU – the USITT Scene Design Award sponsored by Rose Brand.
  • David Valentino of University of North Carolina School of the Arts – the USITT W. Oren Parker Undergraduate Scene Design Award sponsored by Stage Decoration & Supplies.
  • Alexa Busnot of UNCSA – the new Master Craftsmanship Award sponsored by Bernhard R. Works, given this year in scene painting.
David Valentino

David Valentino, Oren Parker Undergrad Scene Design, M. Butterfly

Alexa Busnot

Alexa Busnot, Master Craftsmanship, Scene Painting

Nick Christiani

Nick Christiani, Golden Hammer, telescoping tower for Aladdin the musical


  • Kai Ravelson of UNCSA – the USITT Makeup Design Award sponsored by Kryolan Professional Make-Up.
Kai Ravelson, Makeup Design sponsored by Kryolan, period wig & makeup

Kai Ravelson, Makeup Design sponsored by Kryolan, period wig & makeup

Technical Production

  • C. Nikki Mills of Yale – the KM Fabrics Technical Production Award.
C. Nikki Mills

C. Nikki Mills, KM Fabrics Technical Production, Accidental Death of an Anarchist


  • AJ Cook of CMU – the USITT Stage Management Award sponsored by Clear-Com Communications Systems.
AJ Cook

AJ Cook, Stage Management by Clear-Com, Scene from Four Saints in Three Acts

In addition to cash prizes up to $1,000 the award winners will be featured in a multi-media awards show, have the opportunity to meet their award sponsors informally, network with industry leaders, and participate in some of the 200 workshops, meetings, and activities at the Conference.

YD&T awards are adjudicated by a committee of experts in each field who make recommendations to the USITT Awards Committee. Ultimately, USITT's Board of Directors votes to approve those recommendations.

In past years YD&T winners have been invited to attend workshops and training based on their areas of expertise. In 2013, two YD&T winners were asked to represent USITT at trade shows in Europe which allowed them to show their work and meet celebrities in their fields.