Dr. Joel E. Rubin, winner of the 2009 Wally Russell Lifetime Achievement Award, was also honored at the USITT’s 50th annual conference and stage expo in Kansas City, when he presented a rousing Fellow’s Address on Wednesday evening, March 31, 2010. He was presented with the USITT Golden Anniversary Award for his ongoing service to the organization, of which he was a founder in 1960 and is a past president.
Veteran lighting designer and Tony Award-winner Jennifer Tipton, who has won every award from a Bessie to a MacArthur Foundation genius grant, was honored with the USITT Fiftieth Gala Award. In her “blockbuster session,” Tipton spoke on The Art of Stage Lighting, and included a demonstration of basic lighting positions. She was presented with her award by Richard Dunham of the USITT lighting commission and immediate past president Carl Lefko. The recording and web broadcast of Tipton’s session was sponsored by Barbizon Lighting.
Following Tipton’s award, Ellen Lampert-Gréaux and David Johnson of Live Design presented the sixth annual USITT Rising Star Award to lighting designer Ben Pilat. The Rising Star Award, established and sponsored by LDI/LiveDesign, is given annually to a young professional at the beginning of his or her career. The award recognizes excellence and artistic achievement in the areas of scenic, lighting, sound, and projection design, or the convergence of these design disciplines. Gary Fails of City Theatrical presented Pilat with a professional upgrade to Lightwright 5, as donated by John McKernon, creator of Lightwright, which is distributed by City Theatrical.