The nominations process for some of the industries' most prestigious awards for students and young professionals is now open. USITT is accepting nominations for its Rising Star Award sponsored by Live Design/LDI 2010, its Awards for Young Designers & Technicians in the Performing Arts (YD&T), and its “Ideal Theatre” competition, a collaboration of theatre and architecture students.

USITT, the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, Inc., has been giving YD&T awards since 1995. The Rising Star Award was initiated in 2005, and the “Ideal Theatre” Design Competition is in its fifth year.

All three awards programs include cash prizes, with more than $100,000 awarded in the past several years, but a key element in each is the opportunity to interact with key professionals, meet with the award's sponsors, and enjoy the accolades of their peers.

Awards will be presented at USITT’s 51st Annual Conference & Stage Expo which will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina from March 9 to 12, 2011, and Conference registration is included in the awards package for each winner.

Detailed information about each award is available at www.usitt.org. The entire process can be completed online, with Rising Star nominations due by November 2, 2010; TD&T registration deadline is October 15; and “Ideal Theatre” applications are due by November 17.

The Rising Star Award recognizes excellence and artistic achievement in the areas of scenic, lighting, sound, and projection design, or the convergence of these design disciplines. The award is given at the beginning of a career to a young designer in their first four years of professional (non-academic) work, following the completion of their highest degree. More on the nominations process can be found here.

David Johnson, associate publisher and editorial director of Live Design, notes, “We are extremely pleased with the level of professionalism in past Rising Star winners, and look forward to seeing the 2011 submissions.”

YD&T Awards are given in nine different areas. Each award has specific criteria concerning who is eligible, generally those who are completing, or have completed a degree, either undergraduate or graduate, within the last two years. Criteria for each award, and complete information about the electronic application process, can be found here for the:

* KM Fabrics Inc. Technical Production Award,
* Robert E. Cohen Sound Achievement Award,
* USITT Lighting Design Award sponsored by Barbizon Lighting Company,
* USITT Scene Design Award sponsored by Rose Brand,
* USITT Costume Design & Technology Award sponsored by Zelma H.Weisfeld,
* USITT Makeup Design Award sponsored by Kryolan Professional Make-up,
* Frederick A. Buerki Golden Hammer Scenic Technology Award sponsored by Bernhard R. Works.
* USITT Stage Management Award sponsored by Clear-Com Communications Systems, and
* USITT W. Oren Parker Undergraduate Scene Design Award sponsored by Stage Decoration & Supplies, Inc.

The “Ideal Theatre” Student Design Competition, an international design competition, brings together the “client user’ and the “designer” to explore the possibilities of what a performing arts space could be. Three projects will be selected for Honor Awards, and those teams will be invited to the USITT where they will present their projects to the USITT Architecture Commission. For additional information, including a design brief, application, and prize list, visit here.

Work submitted for all three awards will be rigorously adjudicated by professionals with expertise in the specific area of the award. Those who have participated in the process in previous years have found the feedback provided by adjudicators to be an invaluable part of the process.

To learn more about USITT, the association of design, production, and technology professionals in the performing arts and entertainment industry, and its awards visit www.usitt.org, where a complete list of the organization’s awards can be found.

To learn more about the hundreds of sessions and activities planned for the 2011 Annual Conference, visit www.usitt.org/2011.