In honor of the Public Theatre's 50th anniversary, Live Design magazine will pay tribute to “The Design Aesthetic of The Public Theatre's Shakespeare in the Park,” at a special benefit evening on Monday, May 22, at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at New York University. This event marks the inaugural Live Design Honors, in which the magazine pays tribute to a group of outstanding individuals and the collaborative spirit of these designers who work together to create memorable and innovative productions.

Designing for Shakespeare in the Park has always offered unique opportunities while at the same time offering peculiar challenges to designers from all four disciplines. Some of the best lighting, sound, costume, and scenic designers have all worked at the Delacorte Theatre in New York City's Central Park over the years, with a host of exemplary directors. While all have an individual approach that is distinctly personal, they collectively contributed to the shape of what has become a staple of New York City in the summer. There is no better time to look back at this extraordinary body of work then as The Public Theatre plans to end its 50th anniversary year-long celebration with the 2006 Shakespeare in the Park Season.

On Monday, May 22, Live Design will host an evening that brings together many of the designers from all the disciplines, as well as directors whose work has graced the boards of the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park. A cocktail reception and the Live Design Honors presentation will be an opportunity to hear about some of the design challenges, obstacles, and solutions, as well as the memories of working at the Delacorte over the decades.

Live Design is hosting this event as a special benefit for The ESTA Foundation's Behind the Scenes charity. Behind the Scenes is a new initiative that will provide members of the entertainment technology industry with grants for emergency situations, such as serious illness, injury, or death. With this initiative, our industry can make sure our colleagues are cared for when tragedy strikes. The foundation is raising money for the program from those in the industry — so together, we can take care of our own. The goal is to build an endowment, so the program will provide assistance far into the future.

Behind the Scenes was launched at LDI2005 with a kick-off challenge grant of $125,000 from the Altman Family. It is only fitting that Live Design host this first major benefit for this worthwhile cause. As a part of the evening, there will also be a silent auction to benefit the charity. There is no better way to honor the work of all these great designers than to support them and their colleagues should they find themselves in need.

“We are extremely pleased to be able to honor the Public Theatre on the occasion of its 50th anniversary, as well as the designers and directors who have created so many memorable performances at Shakespeare in the Park, while at the same time benefiting The ESTA Foundation's new Behind The Scenes initiative,” says David Johnson, associate publisher and editorial director of Live Design. “We are happy to be able to launch Live Design Honors hand-in-hand with the Public Theatre and The ESTA Foundation. Behind The Scenes is an important new cause for the entertainment technology community, and we are proud to help out.”

The May 22 event takes place in conjunction with Live Design's annual Broadway Lighting Master Classes at The Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at New York University. For information about the Broadway Lighting Master Classes (BLMC) and Broadway Sound Master Classes (BSMC):