It is with deep regret that Entertainment Design announces it has been forced to cancel this year's Broadway Lighting and Sound Master Classes, scheduled for December 5-9 in New York City. Due to a variety of circumstances, not the least of which is the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, publisher Jacqueline Tien, editorial director David Barbour, and editor David Johnson have decided that the classes could not be presented with the kind of quality the industry has come to expect from this annual event.
Despite the cancellation of the classes, the annual Entertainment Design EDDY Awards, originally scheduled for Friday, December 7 at John Jay Theatre, will continue as planned.
It was to have been the ninth year for the lighting classes, and the inaugural year of the sound classes. The former, led as usual by lighting designer Jules Fisher, would have featured its usual array of top-tier Broadway lighting designers, including Ken Billington, Peggy Eisenhauer, Chris Parry, Beverly Emmons, Don Holder, Richard Pilbrow, Vivien Leone, Clifton Taylor, Paul Marantz, and projection designer Wendall K. Harrington. The latter, led by the godfather of theatre sound Abe Jacob, sported an equally stellar lineup on the sound front, including Jonathan Deans, Steve Kennedy, Tom Clark, John Kilgore, Chris Cronin, Duncan Edwards, Mark Menard, and Chris Evans. The staff is deeply grateful for the commitment and efforts of this impressive faculty.
Says Tien: "This was a difficult decision for us to make, but we feel it is the right decision. In addition to the BLMC's founders Jules Fisher and Sonny Sonnenfeld, and the BSMC consultant Abe Jacob, I want to also recognize our corporate sponsors who have supported this important industry outreach program: Altman, Apollo, City Theatrical, Electronic Theatre Controls, High End Systems, Lectrosonics, Le Maitre, Lee Filters, Level Control Systems, Lycian, Martin Professional, MDG, Selecon, SSP/Compulite R&D, Strand, TMB, Vari-Lite, and Wybron. We will now re-channel our energies toward celebrating and supporting our industry and friends at this year's EDDY Awards, in Entertainment Design and Lighting Dimensions magazines and at our LDI show, this November in Orlando."
Says Fisher: "It saddens me not to be able to present this years exciting program to so many eager students and practitioners. I am undaunted...we will just make next year’s that much better."
Adds Jacob: "Creativity, especially in the arts, requires a finely tuned focus if it is to be successful. Without it any effort to present the Master Classes would be less than could be, so a postponement not a cancellation is what we are going to do. A better BSMC will be the result."
Entertainment Design intends to focus all its energies on the 2001 EDDY Awards. This year's winners include theatre sound design firm Acme Sound Partners, projection design firm Batwin & Robin, the hair and makeup designer and costume designer of the film version of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, the design and technical crew of the Seattle Opera production of The Ring Cycle, the show control and automation company Show Motion, and the U2 Elevation tour show designer Willie Williams. Also honored will be our annual picks of the top lighting and sound products of the year.
In addition, because it is the 10th year for the awards, ED will also salute the wide array of entertainment design and technology artisans who have been honored in past years. Special guests will be announced in the coming weeks.
Says editor David Johnson: “This year more than ever, we want to present the EDDY Awards as a celebration and affirmation of the best and brightest in our industry. Just as they have done over the past decade, the winners of this year’s awards reflect the wide spectrum of creativity in design and technology. Please join us as we pay tribute to the past, honor the present, and celebrate the future. Please join us in beautiful New York City on December 7."
In closing, Entertainment Design would like to thank Melissa Pollitt and Anne Valentino for their invaluable help over the past six months.