2008 YD&T Award
Ten outstanding young designers and technicians will be honored with awards during USITT's Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Houston, Texas in March. The recipients were selected after an adjudication process which included jury members drawn from USITT's ranks and representatives of the individuals and companies who sponsor the awards.
Rick Miller of North Carolina School of the Arts is the winner of the KM Fabrics, Inc. Technical Production Award. Henry Grillo nominated Mr. Miller, who is schedule to graduate in June. Michael O'Nele, technical director at the University of Memphis, noted Mr. Miller's “excellent carpentry skills.”
Jason Knox will receive the Robert E. Cohen Sound Achievement Award. Richard Thomas nominated Mr. Knox, who is scheduled to graduate in December from Purdue University. A reviewer of his design portfolio noted “Mr. Knox stands out above all other nominees this year.”
Ben Pilat, winner of the USITT Lighting Design Award sponsored by Barbizon, will be graduating from Boston University in May. Mr. Pilat was nominated by Roger Meeker who compliments his “well-planned and well-executed” work.
Steven Kemp will be honored with the USITT Scene Design Award sponsored by Rose Brand. Judith Dolan nominated the University of California at San Diego student who is scheduled to graduate in March. His work was praised as “highly innovated and extremely well thought out.”
Kevin Thacker, a student at the University of Connecticut, was selected for the USITT Costume Design and Technology Award sponsored by Zelma H. Weisfeld. Mr. Thacker, who will receive his degree in May, was nominated by Laura Crow. Ms. Weisfeld based her decision on “the quality of his presentation, including the variety.”
Chris Brown will receive the USITT Frederick A. Buerki Scenic Technology Award sponsored by Bernhard R. Works. The candidate for May graduation from the Yale School of Drama was nominated by Ben Sammler.
Kaylan M. Paisley, winner of the USITT Makeup Design Award sponsored by Kryolan, will graduate in May from the North Carolina School of the Arts. Nominated by Michael Meyer, Ms. Paisley was noted as being a “great designer, and team worker as well as a self-starter.”
Collin Ranney is the winner of the USITT W. Oren Parker Scene Design Award sponsored by Stage Decoration & Supplies, Inc. He was nominated by Lynne Koscielniak. The University at Buffalo student impressed adjudicators with an outstanding combination of research, sketches, and production photos.
Claire Diedrich is the recipient of the USITT Stage Management Award sponsored by Clear-Com. David Grindle nominated Ms. Diedrich, an Indiana University student, for the honor.
Michael Billings will receive the USITT Lighting Design Award sponsored by Stage Technology. The candidate for May graduation from the University of Connecticut was nominated by James Franklin.
The USITT Awards for Young Designers & Technicians in the Performing Arts will be presented as part of the All-Conference Reception and Fellows Address beginning at 6:15 p.m. Thursday, March 20 in the Hilton Lanier Ballroom as part of the 2008 Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Houston, Texas.
In addition to a cash prize, award winners receive complimentary Conference registration and have an opportunity to meet and discuss their work with the award sponsors and adjudicators.
Additional images from the winners can be found in The Last Word of this issue. A complete list of YD&T winners from past years is available here. Applications for the 2009 award will be available later in 2008.