Meet Our 2024 Rising Star!

January 29, 2024

USITT, along with LDI, is pleased to announce that the recipient of this year's Rising Star award is theatrical and game audio sound designer William N. Lowe!

The Rising Star Award, sponsored by LDI/Live Design, is given annually to a young professional at the beginning of their career. The award recognizes excellence and artistic achievement in scenic, lighting, sound, projection design, or a convergence of these design disciplines. William will be honored during USITT24 in Seattle at our Awards, Awards, Awards ceremony on March 21. Join us for the ceremony, and afterward be one of the first on the Expo floor as our winners drop the rope and open it for attendees!

William N. Lowe is a theatrical sound designer turned game audio designer currently based in Brooklyn, NY. Specializing in ambience design and VO pipelines, William loves building sonic worlds from the ground up and solving puzzles to make games sound and flow as smoothly as possible. William works for audio vendor Clean Cuts Interactive where he has shipped three AAA games with 2K and Visual Concepts (WWE 2K22, NBA 2K22, Lego 2K Drive) and an additional AAA title, Sazaru Game's latest VR hit Asgard's Wrath 2. Previously he has worked on podcasts (544 Days, Our Body Politic, Strongman), audiobooks (Unthinkable, Zero Fail, The Window Seat), television (Air Disasters, Mighty Trains, Alaska Animal Rescue), and film (Tale of Three Chinatowns, Natsukashii). He did regional theatrical work with Quantum Theater (Pittsburgh, PA), The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, DC), Chautauqua Theater Company (Chautauqua, NY), Philadelphia Fringe, and Capital Fringe. He also works as a product manager on AVAE's Canvas, an advanced sound design and show control software for live entertainment (  When he is not writing REAPER scripts he will never comment, he is out in nature exploring, creating ambience recordings, and visiting Major League Baseball stadiums. He has been to 23/30! You can explore his website and portfolio here.

“I am honored to receive the Rising Star Award from USITT, Live Design, and LDI," William says. "I owe my work on the cutting edge of the entertainment industry - at the intersection of art and technology - to the unique theatrical training I received. I'd love to thank Joe Pino for nominating me. For the knowledge he shared as a Professor and Sound Designer, and all of the guidance he's continued to provide post-graduation. Thank you to Christopher Baine for bringing me into the Canvas journey and everything that has come with it. To my parents for their constant support. And last but not least, thank you to everybody at Clean Cuts for giving me the opportunity to work on incredible projects and to help me continue to grow as a sound designer.”

William’s Professor and mentor Joe Pino, Professor of Sound Design at Carnegie Mellon, had this to say about William: “William Lowe is a stellar example of the next generation of theater artists. He moves with ease between different related entertainment fields. He is contributing to the practice by helping develop better and more sophisticated tools. He is proving to be invaluable to fields where practitioners typically lack in the sort of world-building and storytelling skills that theater-makers possess. He seems to be exactly the sort of candidate USITT looks for in the Rising Star.” 

Congratulations to William!

William will be honored during USITT24 in Seattle at our Awards, Awards, Awards ceremony on March 21. Be sure to attend to congratulate Lowe and the rest of our 2024 award winners!

Rising Star Award Winners 2005-2023

2023: Adam J. Thompson, Video and Graphic Designer
2022: Kristin Martino, scenic designer
2021: Elizabeth Puksto, scenic/production designer
2020: Joe Klug, scenic designer
2019: Maranda DeBusk, lighting/projection designer
2018: Paige Hathaway, scenic designer
2017: Bryce Cutler, scenic & media designer
2016: Stephen Moss, lighting designer
2015: Chris Wood, lighting & sound designer
2014: Janie Bullard, sound designer
2013: Aaron Porter, lighting designer
2012: Jason Simms, scene designer
2011: Daniel Brodie, projection designer
2010: Ben Pilat, lighting designer
2009: Sean Savoie, lighting designer
2008: Elisheba Ittoop, sound designer
2007: John Horan, lighting designer
2006: Justin Townsend, lighting & scenic designer
2005: Kelly Hanson, scenic designer