In its continuing support of arts education, ETC is announcing the recipients of its twelfth annual LDI Student Sponsorship, giving six students who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in the field of lighting design and stage technology an exclusive opportunity for professional development. The students will enjoy an all-expense-paid trip to the LDI tradeshow, backstage access to ETC's tradeshow booth, an insider's look at the latest technology, and the chance to network with other professionals. ETC will match the Student Sponsorship recipients with industry luminaries who serve as mentors – giving advice, inspiration and support to the students as they embark on their careers.
This year's ETC LDI Student Sponsorship recipients:
Ryan Bona is a master of fine arts candidate for theatrical lighting design at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2009, with a bachelor of arts in theatre. In 2010, Bona was awarded a Wally Russell Lighting Internship at the Los Angeles Opera. He has designed for shows like The Missile Man of Peenemunde at studio/stage in Los Angeles, and Simple Magic and Wounded at the California Institute of the Arts. He served as assistant lighting designer for productions such as Twist: An American Musical at the Pasadena Playhouse and Gruesome Playground Injuries at New York's Second Stage.
Mike Farmer is a senior undergraduate at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, working on a bachelor of fine arts in technical production, with an emphasis on lighting design. His lighting design credits include Les Precieuses Ridicules at his university and Beauty and the Beast at Five Towns College in Dix Hills, New York. Farmer has also worked as a gaffer and electrician on short films and commercials, as well as stage productions at Theatre IV, Barksdale Theatre, and Theatre VCU. He will receive his degree in May 2012 and plans to work on the west coast following graduation.
Bryan â€˜B' Lussier
B Lussier is working toward a master of fine arts in lighting design at the University of Florida and holds a bachelor of arts in English, Elizabethan and Jacobean drama from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He was lighting director at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, 2007 to 2009. He is co-developer for an Introduction to Light and Sound online course and has also taught undergraduate lighting design classes. Lussier has designed for Bash and In the Blood at his university, and 2280 Pints! in New York. His résumé also includes the lighting design for Oedipus Rex at the Papagou Ampitheatre in Athens, Greece.
Mary Montgomery is pursuing a master of fine arts in theatre design and technology from the University of Minnesota. She graduated from Minnesota's Winona State University in 2009, with a bachelor of arts in theatre and dance. Montgomery served as a lighting design intern at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater in 2009 and as master electrician for Winona's Great River Shakespeare Festival this summer. She has been the lighting designer for shows including Oil! and The Jungle and Picnic at her university; the Discover the Real George Washington exhibit at the Minnesota History Center; and Untarnished Illusions, Dancescape, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead at her alma mater.
Kong Qingyao is this year's international recipient of the ETC LDI student sponsorship, hailing from China. He is studying at the Shanghai Theatre Academy, working toward a master of fine arts in lighting design and technology. He completed his undergraduate study at the same university, graduating in 2005 with a bachelor of arts in lighting design. He works in the department of stage design at the school. Qingyao's lighting designs have been featured on Frank V at the Duanjun Theatre, Popcorn at the Shanghai Grand Theater, Nan Ke Biography at his university, and Crow and Sparrow at the Shanghai People's Theatre.
Ethan Steimel, currently a graduate student at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, earned a bachelor of fine arts from Missouri State University in 2010. He has served as head lighting designer for such shows as An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein, Nunsense, and Waiting for Godot at the Moonlighting Theatre in St. Charles, Missouri; and The Will Power Project, Essence of Connection, and Charade at his university. He has also been an assistant to the designer at The Muny Theatre in St. Louis, working on shows including Bye Bye Birdie, Little Shop of Horrors, and Singin' in the Rain.