The first annual American Society of Theatre Consultants (ASTC)/United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) Venue Renovation Challenge award was presented in Fort Worth, Texas, at the 54th annual USITT Conference and Expo in March. Andy Baker, Evan Bunner, Shane Cinal, and Josh Quinlan from Ohio State University, with Paul Sanow from ASTC, won the award.
Three teams of student USITT members participated in a challenge designed to engage students in real-world theater renovation problems under the guidance of practicing professional theater 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 other two teams included Amanda Warren and Jason Monmaney from Stephen F. Austin State University with Jules Lauve (ASTC) and Sandy Everett, Meghan Potter, Jeff Lindquist, Brad Shaw and John Houtler-McCoy from Indiana University with Van Phillips (ASTC).
“The Challenge was a great opportunity for me as a professional to work with students who will soon start their careers,” Sanow said. “They learned a lot about our role as theater consultants, the process of how theater 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.”
The Challenge will be held again next year at the USITT Conference and Expo in Cincinnati, Ohio.
(Image: From Ohio State University’s presentation)