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Conference & Stage Expo
For the Record
2010 YD&T Award
Winners Announced

Shannan Hoerger
Administrative Assistant

Ten outstanding young people were selected from over 66 students nominated for the 2010 Awards for Young Designers & Technicians in the Performing Arts (YD&T). The winners will be honored during USITT's 50th Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Kansas City, Missouri, March 31 to April 3. The selection process included jury members drawn from USITT's ranks and representatives of the individuals and companies who sponsor the awards.

  • Amanda Haley of Yale School of Drama is the winner of the KM Fabrics, Inc. Technical Production Award. Ben Sammler nominated Ms. Haley, who is scheduled to graduate in May. Stirling Shelton commented that Ms. Haley "is an individual who is good at seeing what's around the bend and at seeking practical solutions to complex problems in the crazy world of live theater."
  • David Hunter will receive the Robert E. Cohen Sound Achievement Award. Chuck Hatcher nominated Mr. Hunter, who is scheduled to graduate in June from the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music. One adjudicator said, "His cues were interesting and well executed," and felt that "David was working to challenge himself with finding the right sound for the moment in the play."
  • James Tan Khoon Song, winner of the USITT Lighting Design Award sponsored by Barbizon Lighting Company, will graduate from the University of California-San Diego in March. Mr. Tan was nominated by Alan Burrett. Debra Garcia Lockwood commented, "Reviewing his work was a pleasure because his lighting choices were very clear, and it was easy to see how his work would impact each production. Excellent work!"
  • G. Warren Stiles will be honored with the USITT Scene Design Award sponsored by Rose Brand. Michael Lincoln nominated the Ohio University student who is scheduled to graduate in June. Peter Beudert remarked that Mr. Stiles' "scenic designs represent a wide variety of style, material use, and scale. Mr. Stiles is an individual of great talent and skill."
  • Ariana Schwartz, a student at the University of Texas, Austin, was selected for the USITT Costume Design & Technology Award sponsored by Zelma H. Weisfeld. Ms. Schwartz, who will receive her degree in June, was nominated by Rusty Cloyes. Melissa L. Merz made these comments: "Wonderful, fun... amazing... beautifully done." "Renderings absolutely beautiful."
  • Chris Swetcky will receive the USITT Frederick A. Buerki "Golden Hammer" Scenic Technology Award sponsored by Bernhard R. Works. The candidate for May graduation from the Yale School of Drama was nominated by Ben Sammler. Mr. Sammler nominated the 2008 and 2009 winners in this category. Fritz Schwentker stated that Mr. Swetcky "demonstrated both a commitment to the technology and the art that I hope will inspire many colleagues to emulate. It would be my pleasure to work with this young colleague as he continues in his career."
  • Beauty Thibodeau, winner of the USITT Makeup Design Award sponsored by Kryolan Professional Makeup, was nominated by James Glavan. Ms. Thibodeau will graduate in June from University of Texas at Austin. Van Windelman noted that Ms. Thibodeau's "designs and renderings were great... execution is excellent."
  • Catlin Ayer is the winner of the USITT W. Oren Parker Undergraduate Scene Design Award sponsored by Stage Decoration & Supplies, Inc. A student at Webster University, she will graduate in May. Thomas Bloom commented that "the entire body of work is conceptually engaging." Peter Beudert stated, "This applicant has talent and ability." She was nominated by Dunsi Dai.
  • Bekah Wachenfeld is the recipient of the USITT Stage Management Award sponsored by Clear-Com Communications Systems. Richard Finkelstein nominated Ms. Wachenfeld, who will graduate in May from James Madison University. The adjudicators said Ms. Wachenfeld's Call Script had "good detail on timing and sequencing."

The awards will be presented Wednesday, March 31, at the YD&T Awards Luncheon. 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 2011award will be available later in 2010.

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The work of G. Warren Stiles, above, helped him win the USITT Scene Design Award sponsored by Rose Brand for 2010. Mr. Stiles and nine other outstanding young designers will be honored as part of the upcoming Annual Conference. 

Image/Courtesy G. Warren Stiles