USITT Announces Finalists for Prague Quadrennial Exhibit

by Jacob Coakley

A production still from Abacus, which will be a part of the Team USA exhibit at the 2015 Prague QuadrennialUSITT has named the six peformances and multiple design work that will represent the U.S. at the 2015 Prague Quadrennial. (The exhibit will have a reprise at the 2016 USITT show in Salt Lake City.) The USITT-USA curatorial team chose two shows from Ripe Time Theatre in New York, a multimedia production from Paul Abacus, a “wandering opera” staged at LA’s Union Station, and performance pieces from faculty at Auburn University in Alabama and Colorado College as the best overall productions for the exhibit. Additionally, 14 designers in specific disciplines will also be included.

Announcing: The Finalists for USA Exhibit to PQ 2015

The curators for the USITT-USA National Exhibit to the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space have chosen the finalists for exhibit at PQ 2015. Six primary performance works and several examples of design work in specific disciplines will represent Team USA at PQ ’15 in Prague, Czech Republic, in June and at USITT 2016 in Salt Lake City in March 2016.

The USITT-USA curatorial team chose two shows from Ripe Time Theatre in New York, a multimedia production from Paul Abacus, a “wandering opera” staged at LA’s Union Station, and performance pieces from faculty at Auburn University in Alabama and Colorado College as the best overall productions for the exhibit.

The team -- set and costume designer Tony Walton, costume designer Carrie Robbins, scenic and lighting designer Kevin Rigdon, and sound designer Veronika Vorel -- also selected 14 examples of American scenic, costume, lighting, sound, and projection design for display at PQ ‘15.

“There were very strong submissions from across this country, amazing works from all types of performance -- theatre, opera, dance, site-specific installation, performance works, and performance art,” said USITT Vice President for International Activities Markéta Fantová, artistic director for the exhibit. “We would like to thank everyone that entered their work. That support and inspiring work keeps performing arts alive and moving forward.”

In addition to those exhibited at PQ ‘15, all submissions will be in the USITT-USA 2015 online exhibition to be available at www.usitt.org/pq2015.

The OVERALL PRODUCTION works selected are:

·      Septimus and Clarissa by Ripe Time Theatre at the Baruch Performing Arts Center, New York; Susan Zeeman Rogers (Scenery), Oana Botez-Ban (Costumes), Keith Parham (Lighting), Gina Leishman & Jane Shaw (Sound), Rachel Dickstein (Director).

·      The World is Round  by Ripe Time Theatre at the BAM Fisher Space; Mimi Lien (Scenery), Ilona Somogyi (Costumes), Jiyoun Chang (Lighting), Jane Shaw (Sound), Hannah Wasileski (Projection), and Rachel Dickstein (Director.)

·      ABACUS by Paul Abacus at the BAM 2014 Next Wave Festival; Pablo Molina (Scenery & Projection), Christopher Kul (Lighting), Nathan Ruyle (Sound), James N. Sears & Jonathan Cousins (Visualization), Lars Jan (Director), and Miranda Wright (Producer.)

·      Invisible Cities  by The Industry opera company and L.A. Dance Project at Los Angeles’ Union Station railway terminal; E.B. Brooks (Costumes), Bexel Audio & Sennheiser (Sound), Jason Thompson (Projection), Yuval Sharon (Director).

·      Loss of Habitat/Loss of Language; Frozen Forms; The Spirit of Caliban; Requiem, performance design works by Marie Davis-Green of Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

·      Matrix II, performance design exhibit at Auburn University by Fereshteh Rostampour (Projection, Lighting, Scenery).

The Prague Quadrennial is the world’s largest performance design event, held every four years since 1967 to celebrate contemporary scenography and performance design in all disciplines and genres. USITT, the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, has sent a US national exhibit to the PQ since 1971.

The 2015 exhibit, titled Shared Space: Weather Music Politics, is designed to resemble a vortex with examples of design work swirling around.  The works from specific disciplines selected for the exhibit are:

SCENIC DESIGN

·      Paul Steinberg; Deidama; Netherlands National Opera, and La Perichole; New York City Opera.

·      Erhard Rom; A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck and Later the Same Evening; Glimmerglass Festival, Cooperstown, New York.

·      Sibyl Wickersheimer; The Unfortunates, Oregon Shakespeare Festival; The Thomas Theatre, Ashland, Oregon.

·      Bryce Cutler; The Lady in Red Converses with Diablo, Arts and Renaissance, Brooklyn, New York.

 

COSTUME DESIGN

·      Carol Bailey; The Cunning Little Vixen, Royal Danish Opera.

·      Alexandra Bonds; Love Will Shake; University Theatre, University of Oregon.

·      Renee Garcia; As You Like It, Ohio University, Theatre Division.

·      Rebecca Lustig; Henry VI; The New School for Drama, New York.

 

LIGHTING DESIGN

·      Mary Louise Geiger; The Invisible Man; Coproduction of Studio Theatre, Washington, D.C, and Huntington Theatre, Boston, Mass.

 

SOUND DESIGN

·      Joe Payne; The Tempest; Utah Shakespeare Festival.

·      Rick Thomas; Choices, thEDMatre, Purdue University.

·      Erik T. Lawson; Victor Frange Presents: Gas; Incubator Arts Project, New York.

 

PROJECTION DESIGN

·      Joe Payne; A Christmas Carol; Clarence Brown Theatre, University of Tennessee.

·      Jason H. Thompson; Wingman, New York City College of Technology.

 USITT is the national non-profit association for designers and technicians in the performing arts and live entertainment. USITT’s Annual Conference & Stage Expo is the backstage community’s biggest event of the year. USITT 2015 will be held March 18-21 in Cincinnati, Ohio. For more information, visit www.usitt.org.

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