October 2015

Print this page ›

October 2015

News & Notices

And USITT's 2016 Distinguished Achievers Are...

Janet Gramza Communications Associate

John Leonard, Anna Louizos, Joy Spanabel Emery, and Monona Rossol will be honored with USITT Distinguished Achievement Awards at the Salt Lake City 2016 Annual Conference & Stage Expo (USITT 2016).

Each year, USITT recognizes a few stellar individuals whose careers have advanced performing arts design and technology. Each year, the Distinguished Achievement Award winners also energize the annual Conference & Stage Expo with their presence and participation.

John Leonard

John LeonardBritish Sound Designer John Leonard will receive the 2016 Distinguished Achievement Award in Sound Design & Technology. A freelance designer and former head of sound for The Royal Shakespeare Company, he is the author of Theatre Sound (2001). His credits include many West End productions and several that went to Broadway including Nicholas Nickleby, Much Ado About Nothing, and Les Liaisons Dangereuses. He has designed sound systems for venues around the world, elevated the art of 3D sound effects recording, and became one of the few non-American members of IATSE Local 1.

He also has amassed one of the largest libraries of sound effects in the world, and will present at USITT’s 2016 SoundLab on recording sound effects in the field. Hear some of his recordings on SoundCloud.

Anna Louizos

Broadway Scene Designer Anna Louizos was one of the first female Broadway set designers in what is still a male-dominated field. Last season, of 51 Broadway shows, six had sets designed by women, and three were by Louizos. (See an MSNBC interview with her here.)

Her artistry earned her Tony nominations for best scene design for The Mystery of Edwin Drood, High Fidelity, and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights, a tribute to Hispanic culture that resonated with her immigrant roots. She won acclaim for her first major production as set designer for Avenue Q in 2003, and left a job as art director for Sex in the City to take more theatre work. Her other Broadway credits include Golda’s Balcony, Cinderella, and Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.

Her Off-Broadway credits include Tick, Tick …Boom!, Kafka’s The Castle, and Crimes of the Heart.

Joy Spanabel Emery

Joy Spanabel Emery is a costume designer, educator, mentor, author, and curator of the Commercial Pattern Archive at the University of Rhode Island, the world’s largest collection of sewing patterns documenting the history of everyday fashion from the 1840s on. She is a USITT Fellow and professor emerita of URI who took on the archive as a retirement project in 2000 to honor her mentor, the late Betty Williams, and preserve the history of the home pattern industry. She recently published a new book, A History of the Paper Pattern Industry. Read a recent Providence Journal story about it here.

Her history of Emery's service to USITT earned her the Honorary Lifetime Member Award in 2000. See a Sightlines piece she wrote on her USITT Service here.

Monona Rossol

Monona Rossol calls herself an industrial hygienist, but that doesn’t begin to describe the work she has done to make the arts safer for practitioners and patrons. She is a chemist, theatre artist, ceramicist, glassblower, and expert on industrial safety. She is president and founder of Arts, Crafts & Theater Safety, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to providing health and safety services to the arts. She also is health and safety director for Local 829 IATSE. She is the author of Pick Your Poison: How Our Mad Dash to Chemical Utopia is Making Lab Rats of Us All and The Artist’s Complete Health and Safety Guide. She has presented on theatre arts and safety many times at USITT events.

These amazing artists and educators will be recognized in Salt Lake with special presentations on their work and other opportunities for attendees to meet, interact with, and learn from them.

They’ll be featured in the popular Distinguished Achievers in Conversation session on Friday, March 18 at the Salt Palace Convention Center. Leonard also will be a featured presenter at Sound Lab. Emery will host a book-signing for her new History of the Paper Pattern Industry.

“This group of honorees is a testament to the diverse, groundbreaking, important, and inspiring work that’s going on in theatrical design and technology,” said USITT Executive Director David Grindle. “We are proud to be able to recognize these geniuses in our midst, who have made our industry a better place with their great skill, dedication, and hard work.”