Nominate a Rising Star for 2016 Award

2015 Rising Star Chris Wood

USITT invites nominations for the 2016 Rising Star Award sponsored by LDI/Live Design. The award honors early career professionals in lighting, sound, scenic, or projection design for outstanding work in one or more of these disciplines.
Nominees must be in the first four years of professional, non-academic work following completion of their highest degree. The deadline is Aug. 15, with portfolios to be submitted by Sept. 15. Nominate at

The winner will receive the award at USITT’s 2016 Annual Conference & Stage Expo next March 16-19 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Past Rising Stars include sound designer Janie Bullard (2014), who assisted on Broadway’s Hand to God, and Justin Townsend (2006), who received a 2015 Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Lighting Design.

“Each year when we receive nominations for Rising Star, it’s always exciting to see who is making an impact,” said USITT Executive Director David Grindle. “Our past winners continue to work in companies of all sizes and in all types of live entertainment. I look forward to seeing who will next join that elite group.”

LDI/Live Design creative director Ellen Lampert-Gréaux said presenting the award is her favorite part of USITT’s Annual Conference & Stage Expo. LDI/Live Design supplies the $1,000 prize and USITT offers free registration to USITT 2016 and a year’s free membership in USITT.

"It is so rewarding to forge relationships with the next generation of designers that are the Rising Star winners," Lampert-Gréaux said. "We are extremely proud of the former winners who are thriving in their careers—in sound, lighting, and projection—and we enjoy interacting with the honoree at USITT each year.”

The 2015 winner, lighting and sound designer Chris Wood, just finished designing for the Utah Theatre Festival’s entire summer line-up -- How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, La Bohème, Man of La Mancha, and Carousel -- at the same time.

Wood said the award thrust him and his work into the national spotlight.

“The Rising Star Award is like a triple espresso shot of networking,” he said. “Everyone wants to meet and talk with you. It is amazingly fast and, while a bit intimating, you get to meet previous winners and talk to talented and interesting theatre people.”

USITT, the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, is the national non-profit serving the performing arts and entertainment design and technology community. It offers year-round networking, learning, and career-building opportunities in the backstage industry. For more information, visit

USITT’s 2016 Annual Conference & Stage Expo offers over 200 educational sessions, 280-plus exhibitors, and many opportunities for networking, recognition, and product resourcing. For information, go to

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