Elisheba Ittoop, a freelance sound designer, has been named the 2008 USITT Rising Star. The fourth annual Rising Star Award, sponsored by LDI2008 and Live Design, recognizes excellence and artistic achievement in the areas of scenic, lighting, sound, and projection design, or the convergence of these design disciplines. It will be presented at the Awards Banquet concluding the USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Houston, TX on Saturday, March 22, 2008.

Ittoop was noted as almost perfectly fitting the award criteria. Only those at the beginning of their design careers are considered. The winners must be in the first four years of professional (non-academic) work following the completion of their highest degree.

“We are very impressed with Elisheba's resume, as well as her unique focus on the niche world of children's theatre,” says David Johnson, associate publisher and editorial director of Live Design. “In keeping with the strong sound component of this year's USITT, with tributes to Abe Jacob and Helen and John Meyer, it seems fitting that this year's Rising Star winner is a young sound designer.”

In nominating Ittoop, David E. Smith of the North Carolina School of the Arts notes, “She has quickly made a success of what is traditionally such a precarious position straight out of school. Not only has she picked up designs, she has also, more importantly, been asked back to design additional and future shows.”

Since graduating from North Carolina School of the Arts with a Master of Fine Arts in May 2007, she designed sound for Children's Theatre of Charlotte (The Christmas Doll), Burning Coal Theatre (The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer), Justice Theatre Project (Grapes of Wrath), and others. She has also been mix engineer for Chicago's Ravina Festival production of West Side Story, a remix of work done at NC School of the Arts.

Ittoop joins past award winners: scenic designer Kelly Hanson (2005), scenic and lighting designer Justin Townsend (2006), and lighting designer John Horan (2007).