South Puget Sound’s resident professional theatre, Centerstage, kicked off its 2009-2010 season with the world premiere of the musical Carl Sagan’s Contact, with managing artistic director Alan Bryce, costume designer Dana Friedi, set and lighting designer Craig Wollam, and video designer Riley Dickens. Sound design was a collaborated effort between Margaret Ellis, Mark Rabe, and Randy Woolley.

The Wilma Theater kicks off its season with Coming Home by Athol Fugard, directed by the theatre’s co-artistic director Blanka Zizka, with set and costume design by Anne Patterson, lighting design by Thom Weaver, and sound design by Andrea Sotzing.

Lighting designer Beverly Emmons presented an award to Bruce Steinberg (for lighting design of Blue Before Mornin) at the Fifth Annual New York Innovative Theatre Awards (the IT Awards), in a ceremony dedicated to celebrating Off-Off-Broadway last month. Additional recipients included Asa Wember for sound design (Angel Eaters), Michael P. Kramer for set design (Ragtime), and Michelle Beshaw for costumes (The Very Sad Story of Ethel & Julius).

Lighting designers Ray Swartz, Peter Maradudin, and Eileen Thomas have partnered in new design firm StudioK1, a division of electrical engineering firm Konsortum 1, based in Santa Ana, CA.

San Francisco Opera’s current production of Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio), a co-production with Lyric Opera of Chicago, features sets and costumes designed by David Zinn and lighting by Christopher Akerlind.

Pan Asian Repertory Theatre is producing the East Coast premiere of Imelda, in association with East West Players, at New York’s Julia Miles Theatre, with scenic design by Kaori Akazawa, lighting design by Victor En Yu Tan, and costume design by Ivy Chou.

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s production of Noises Off, staged in the The F. M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, wrapped at summer’s end, with set design by Charlie Calvert, lighting design by Michael Giannitti, costume design by Jacqueline Firkins, and sound design by Steve Beckel.