Three teams of student USITT members participated in a challenge designed to engage students in real world theatre renovation problems under the guidance of practicing professional theatre consultants. Each team selected an existing venue and developed a scope of work for practical improvements to a building as a performance venue. Students presented their design concepts to a live audience at a USITT Panel.
The participants from the three teams included 1. Amanda Warren and Jason Monmaney from Stephen F. Austin State University with Jules Lauve, ASTC; 2. Sandy Everett, Meghan Potter, Jeff Lindquist, Brad Shaw & John Houtler-McCoy from Indiana University with Van Phillips, ASTC; and 3. Andy Baker, Evan Bunner, Shane Cinal and Josh Quinlan from Ohio State University with Paul Sanow, ASTC. The $750 award was given to Ohio State University, though all teams presented noteworthy work.
"We were impressed with the student's enthusiasm, quality of presentations and thoroughness of the design efforts from all of the teams." said Mike McMackin, ASTC president.
"The Challenge was a great opportunity for me as a professional to work with students who will soon start their careers. They learned a lot about our role as theatre consultants, the process of how theatre performance facilities are designed, and it caused them to consider that even if an environment is found in one condition it can still be transformed into something else that is better or more appropriate to a new mission. I wish an opportunity like this was available when I was a student," comments Paul Sanow, ASTC mentor.
The Challenge will be held again next year. Students and teachers who would like to benefit from being part of the next Challenge should consider making room for this opportunity in their academic schedules. Details for the 2015 Challenge will be issued shortly.