November 2014

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November 2014

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Ohio Valley: Great Presidents, Great Sessions

Ohio is the home of numerous United States presidents. Not to be outdone, the Ohio Valley Regional Section is also home to past, current and future USITT presidents, including the current President (Lea Asbell-Swanger) since it has State College, Pennsylvania in its borders. Mark Shanda, incoming President of the Institute, and professor and divisional dean of arts and humanities for the Ohio State University was able to attend and speak at the Ohio Valley fall event.

Section Chair Jeffrey Gress (Capital University) greeted everyone at the all-conference kick-off and introduced Elynmarie Kazle, Board member and Fellow of USITT, and TJ Gerckens for an Actors Studio style talk about Mr. Gerckens's long collaboration with the artistic creator and director, Mary Zimmerman.

Mr. Gerckens's collaborations with Mary Zimmerman in creating one-of-a-kind theatre events began at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and, more than 20 years later, is still going strong. The audience was interested to hear tales of the many projects the two collaborated on and where their travels have taken them, most recently to India to do research for a production of The Jungle Book. This larger, all-conference session was held in the Black Box at Kent State, surrounded by the display of over 40 entries for the Peggy Ezekiel Awards.

Other sessions included Virtual Sound Systems, Teaching Stage Management, and Archiving Technical Theatre.

Box lunches for all followed with an opportunity to network and look more closely at the exhibits and exhibitors including Vincent Lighting and The Stage Managers' Association. Attendees were also able to talk with author Ellen E. Jones and get copies of her book, A Practical Guide to a Greener Theatre, signed.

Lunch was followed by two sets of afternoon sessions including 3D Printing, Introduction to OHSA , Tips for Greener Theatre with Ms. Jones, and Collaborative Relationships with Mr. Gerckens.

The Ezekiel Winners were announced by OVS Board Member Kathleen DeVault, who chaired this year's exhibition. The Ezekiel Board's Choice winners will be displayed at Ohio Northern University in the Elzay gallery in January or February with exact dates to be determined.

Congratulations to the acclaimed designers.

Board's Choice:

  • Linda DiBernardo (scenic craft) Bobrauschenbergamerica Ohio University
  • Renee Garcia (costume design) As You Like It Ohio University
  • Mark Halpin (scenic design) Les Miserables CCM Musical Theatre
  • Tammy Honesty (scenic design) Becky's New Car Human Race Theatre
  • Kerry McCarthy (costume design) Pride and Prejudice Kent State University
  • Thomas C. Umfrid (scenic design) Don Pasquale UC CCM Opera Department
  • D. Glen Vanderbilt (scenic design) Heartbreak House Ohio Wesleyan University
  • Susan Williams (costume design) She Stoops to Conquer Kent State University
  • Rebecca Wolf (lighting design) The Arabian Nights Kenyon College
  • Rebecca Wolf (scenic design) Around the World in 80 Days Weathervane Theatre (Newark)
Outstanding Achievement Awards:

Thomas (Andy) Baker, lighting design, Ohio State University; Jeffery Bazemore, scenic craft, Ohio University; Ronnie Chamberlain, costume design, Northern Kentucky University; Daniel Denhart, technical direction, Ohio University; Ms. DiBernardo, scenic craft, Ohio University; Ms. Garcia, costume design, Ohio University; Mr. Halpin, scenic design, CCM Musical Theatre; Tammy Honesty, scenic design, Human Race Theatre; Ms. McCarthy, costume design, Kent State University; Ryan Patterson, technical direction, Kent State University; Glenn Pepe, scenic craft, Ohio University; C. David Russell, scenic design, Ohio University; Mr. Umfrid, scenic design, UC CCM Opera Dept.; Mr. Vanderbilt, scenic design, Ohio Wesleyan University; Ms. Williams, costume design, Kent State University; Ms. R. Wolf, lighting design at Kenyon College and scenic design at Weathervane Theatre.

Awards of Distinction:

Katherine Behrens, Wesley Calkin, Mr. Halpin, Cynthia Hoffman, Tyson Miller, Mr. Patterson, Miriam Patterson, April Rock, John Salutz, Tom West, Benjamin Williams, and Jenifer Wolff.