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USITT | 2021 Award Winners Announced

Stage Directions • Industry News • February 19, 2021

USITT is pleased to announce and congratulate its 2021 award winners. Winners will be honored during the 61st Annual Conference & Stage Expo taking place virtually, March 8-12, 2021. Please join Stage Directions and USITT in congratulating this year’s award winners!

Distinguished Achievement Award Winners

Education & Lighting Design – Kathy Perkins
Kathy A. Perkins, scholar, and lighting designer is the editor/co-editor of six anthologies, in addition to serving as a senior editor for the Routledge Companion to African American Theatre and Performance. A recipient of numerous research and design awards, including Fulbright, NEH, NAACP Image Award, and the USITT Herbert Griggs Publication Award, Perkins has traveled throughout Africa, Europe, the Caribbean and Asia.

She has designed nationally and internationally at such venues as Berkeley Repertory, Arena Stage, St. Louis Black Repertory, Baltimore Center Stage, Goodman, Steppenwolf, Yale Repertory, Manhattan Theatre Club, American Contemporary Theatre, and the Grahamstown Festival in South Africa.

Perkins is Professor Emerita at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Management – Molly Dill
Dill currently serves as the Producing Director at Houston Grand Opera, where her responsibilities include the planning and producing of company productions and special projects, and leadership of the technical and production departments, working closely with directors and designers to realize their productions on the HGO stage.

Dill joined HGO in 2003, establishing the company’s new Rehearsal Department to manage the company’s scheduling and planning needs, and has since held a variety of leadership roles within the organization, most recently serving as General Manager.  Projects Dill has overseen during her tenure with HGO include the acclaimed presentation of The Passenger at the 2014 Lincoln Center Festival, and a tour of HGO’s first Mariachi Opera, Cruzar la cara de la Luna, including the New York premiere at New York City Opera in 2018.

Dill began her career as a stage manager, working with opera and theater companies across the country, including Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Glimmerglass Opera, and Portland Stage Company in Portland, Maine, and her home company, Houston Grand Opera.  Dill holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Webster University’s Conservatory of Theater Arts.

Scenic Design – Eduardo Sicangco
Eduardo Sicangco lives in New York and continues to enjoy a 40-year career designing sets and costumes for a wide range of projects including plays, musicals, opera, ballet, film, Las Vegas spectaculars, circuses, ice shows, cruise ship entertainment and theme parks.

His work has been seen at various venues including Broadway, Off-Broadway, Regional Theater, Radio City Music Hall, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Ballet, New York City Opera, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus, Disney on Ice and Dollywood.

Originally from the Philippines, he moved to New York where he was mentored by Oliver Smith, Fred Voelpel, Carrie Robbins, Ben Edwards, and Douglas Schmidt. He is a proud member of the design faculty at UNCSA.

Engineering – Alan Hendrickson
Alan Hendrickson has been teaching at the Yale School of Drama since 1979. Hendrickson developed and teaches graduate level courses in the physics of stage machinery, mechanical design, fluid power, control systems, electricity, and the history of theatre architecture. At the Yale Repertory Theatre, he acts as Automation Supervisor overseeing the design and construction of mechanized scenic effects needed for the Rep’s productions.

With contributing author Colin Buckhurst, he wrote Mechanical Design for the Stage published by Focal Press in 2008. He also consults on control systems and machinery design for Hudson Scenic Studio, Inc. of New York on projects such as the Broadway and/or touring productions of: Lion King, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Aladdin.

Sound Design – Carin Ford
Carin Ford, sound engineer, received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech and Theater from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN.  Immediately after graduating, she moved to New York City and attended The Center for the Media Arts to study audio engineering and the Juilliard School to participate in an internship program for technical theater.

After completing the Juilliard program, she was hired to take over the FOH mix on the tour of The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe staring Lily Tomlin, written and directed by Jane Wagner.

Following that tour, Ford worked on over 30 shows including national and international tours such as Mamma Mia, Beauty and the Beast, Les Misérables, and City of Angels.

Her Broadway credits include the most recent production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.  In addition, Ford mixed Carousel (Revival), Hello Dolly starring Bette Midler, Shuffle AlongAn American In ParisBullets Over Broadway, Big Fish, Bring It On, La Cage Aux Folles (revival), Finian’s Rainbow, Young Frankenstein, The Color Purple (original company), Caroline or Change, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Seussical The Musical, and Ragtime (the original company).

She has worked with sound designers Scott Lehrer, Jon Weston, Jonathan Deans, Peter Hylinski, Tom Gibbons, Brian Ronan, and Peter Fitzgerald. Also, she has worked with prominent directors such as George C. Wolfe, Jerry Zaks, and Susan Stroman, to name a few.

In addition to theatrical work, Ford has mixed shows for Black Entertainment Television (BET) and has done postproduction sound effects editing for several independent films.

Technical Production – Bill Sapsis
Bill Sapsis, President of Sapsis Rigging, Inc., began his career in 1972.   His work on Broadway includes the original productions of A Chorus Line and The Runner Stumbles. Sapsis opened Sapsis Rigging in 1981 and has grown the company into a multi-faceted installation/production/service company with clients on six continents.

Sapsis’ articles and lectures on rigging and safety can be found in numerous publications worldwide. He has authored two books; Heads and Tales and Entertainment Rigging for the 21st Century.  Sapsis is the chair of the ETCP Arena Subject Matter Experts and a member of the ETCP Council.  He serves on ESTA’s Technical Standards Committee and is co-Chair of the ANSI accredited Rigging Working Group. Sapsis sits on the Board of Directors for the Behind the Scenes Charity.

Sapsis is a USITT Fellow and a member of ABTT. He is a founding member of the Long Reach Long Riders, an industry-based charity motorcycle group. He is the Executive Producer of BackStage Pass, a video interview series on YouTube and an organizer of the ESTA/USITT New World Rigging Symposium.  Sapsis is also the Executive Director of the North American Theatre Engineering and Architecture Conference (NATEAC). Do not get him started talking about his home in Vermont.  Or his kids.

Costume Design – Paul Tazewell
Paul Tazewell has been designing costumes for Broadway and regional theater, film and television, dance, and opera productions for over 25-years. Starting his Broadway career with the groundbreaking musical, ‘Bring in Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk directed by George C. Wolfe, Tazewell would go on to design costumes for such shows as the original Broadway productions of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award®-winning Hamilton, In the Heights, The Color Purple, Dr Zhivago, Memphis, Caroline, or Change, Elaine Stritch at Liberty, Russel Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam, Lombardi, and Magic/Bird. Revival work includes Side Show, A Streetcar Named Desire, Jesus Christ Superstar, Guys and Dolls, A Raisin in the Sun, and On the Town.

In the United States and across the world, Tazewell has designed for such renown companies as The Metropolitan Opera, The Bolshoi Ballet, The English National Opera, Theatre du Chatelet, The Public Theater, The National Theater, The Kennedy Center, The Guthrie Theater, Arena Stage, Houston Grand Opera, San Francisco Opera, and many more.

In the film space, Paul designed the costumes for the film Harriet and he is currently designing the costumes for Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story.  He has received many recognitions for his work.  In the same year, 2016, he received both a Tony Award®, for Hamilton, and the Emmy Award® for The Wiz! Live on NBC.  Other notable honors include numerous Tony Award nominations (most recently for Ain’t Too Proud) two Lucille Lortel Awards, four Helen Hayes Awards, a Princess Grace Foundation Fellowship, and The Princess Grace Statue Award®. Tazewell holds an MFA from New York University and a BFA from North Carolina School of the Arts.  He has been privileged to instruct students as a guest artist at New York University and North Carolina School of the Arts. From 2003-2006, he held a faculty position at Carnegie Mellon University. He currently lives in New York City and works across the globe.

Rising Star Award Sponsored by LDI/Live Design

  • Elizabet Puksto

Wally Russell Professional Mentoring Award

  • Tanya Harper

Thomas DeGaetani Award

  • The Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute

The USITT Award

  • Richard Hay

Joel E. Rubin Founder’s Award

  • Reid Neslage

Oscar G. Brockett Golden Pen Award

  • Beverly Gore Norcross and James Glavan for Stage Makeup 11th Edition

Special Citation Award

  • Marco Chan

Architecture Award Winners

  • Honor: Recital Hall, Penn State University, University Park, PA
  • Honor: Xiqu Centre, Hong Kong, China
  • Merit: BAM Strong, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY
  • Merit: Rubenstein Arts Center at Duke University, Durham, NC
  • Merit: Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center, Macalester College, St Paul, MN

Herbert D. Greggs Award Winners

  • Honor: Deepsikha Chatterjee
  • Merit: Frank Ludwig
  • Merit: Byron Harrison

If you have not registered for USITT21 Virtually anywhere, you can do so by clicking here. 

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