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For the Record
Dressed Named Golden Pen Winner

Martha Marking
Co-Chair, Golden Pen Committee

USITT’s 2009 Golden Pen award will be presented to Deborah Nadoolman Landis, author of Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design (Harper Collins, 2007).

Ms. Nadoolman Landis has been invited to the USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Cincinnati, March 18 to 21, where a book signing has been tentatively scheduled for Friday, March 20. A Conference session also will be held 10 a.m. on Friday, March 20 to discuss this book and Ms. Nadoolman Landis’ work. Martha Marking and Michael Monsos, co-chairs of USITT’s Golden Pen selection sub-committee, will moderate.

The nominator said this book, by an Academy Award-nominated author, “is full of evocative, original designs and beautiful photographs. Her stories are terrific and reveal what an insider would be able to tell the world. The book is a treasure. Among the important features are information about the development of the profession of costume design in the movies, the methods of collaboration within the film industry, and numerous illustrations.”

Golden Pen Committee members agreed. “This is an awesome collection of materials. It's beautifully illustrated, and I'd put it on my coffee table rather than on a research shelf. What strikes me most about the book are the many side-by-side comparisons of the renderings next to production photographs of the final costumes...The reader finds a wide range of personal perspectives from not only the designers and the depth of the styles and periods that were represented throughout the 100 years, but a commentary from the directors and actors who were affected by the designers' choices.”

“The author’s evaluation and selection of what was an overwhelming amount of material is astounding. The book is chock full of beautiful photographs and anecdotal information valuable to theatre and film history buffs alike. There is no other book that I am aware of that covers this particular topic and covers it so thoroughly and stunningly.”

The Golden Pen Subcommittee reviewed five excellent nominations for the 2008 award. The award is determined by a poll of the members of the Publications Committee and was ratified by the Board of Directors in October.

The Golden Pen Award is given annually to an author of an outstanding publication in the field of design and production for the performing arts that has been written within the previous three-year period. The Golden Pen has been presented annually since 1986. The criteria specifies that the work recognized is an outstanding example of one or more of the following: scholarly research and critical thinking, presentation of the work and methodology of exceptional practitioners for theatrical arts and/or crafts, and description of the methods, skills and technology involved in creating works of theatre and/or crafts.

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USITT will honor Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design with its 2009 Golden Pen Award as part of the 2009 Annual Conference & Stage Expo.