Elisheba Ittoop, a freelance sound designer, is this year’s USITT Rising Star. She will receive the 2008 USITT Rising Star Award, sponsored by LDI2008 and Live Design. The fourth annual Rising Star Award, which recognizes excellence and artistic achievement in the areas of scenic, lighting, sound, and projection design, or the convergence of these design disciplines, will be presented at the Awards Banquet which concludes the USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Houston, Texas on Saturday, March 22, 2008.

Ittoop was noted as almost perfectly fitting the award’s criteria. Only those at the beginning their design careers are considered. The winners must be in the first four years of professional (non-academic) work following the completion of their highest degree.

"We are very impressed with Elisheba Ittoop's resume, as well as her unique focus on the niche world of children's theatre," says David Johnson, associate publisher and editorial director of Live Design. "In keeping with the strong sound component of this year's USITT, with tributes to Abe Jacob and Helen and John Meyer, it seems fitting that this year's Rising Star winner is a young sound designer."

In nominating Ittoop, David E. Smith of the North Carolina School of the Arts notes, “She has quickly made a success of what is traditionally such a precarious position straight out of school. Not only has she picked up designs, she has also, more importantly, been asked back to design additional and future shows.”

Since graduating from the North Carolina School of the Arts with a Master of Fine Arts degree in May 2007, she has done sound design for Children’s Theatre of Charlotte (The Christmas Doll), Burning Coal Theatre (The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer), Justice Theatre Project (Grapes of Wrath) and others. She has also been mix engineer for Chicago’s Ravina Festival production of West Side Story, a remix of work done at NC School of the Arts.

Ms. Ittoop joins past award winners: scenic designer Kelly Hanson (2005) scenic & lighting, designer Justin Townsend (2006), and lighting designer John Horan (2007).