A new lighting design award for undergraduate students has been added to the array of United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) Awards for Young Designers & Technicians in the Performing Arts. The award is made possible with support from Minnesota-based Stage Technology, and will be presented for the first time in 2007.

In creating the award Niles Sayre, president of Stage Technology, said, "Other USITT awards focus on graduate students. There is so much talent on both the undergraduate and graduate levels, Stage Technology wishes to reward talent coming from an undergraduate program. An award limited to undergraduate students may recognize a student from one of the active smaller college theatre programs."

Undergraduate students must be nominated for the award by a USITT member. Applications, which will soon be available on the USITT website, must include letters of recommendation, the candidate's working philosophy, and examples of work, including those showing compositional skill and a light plot, among other requirements.

The award includes a cash prize, complimentary registration for the USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo to be held in Phoenix, AZ, March 14th to 17th, 2007, and an opportunity to meet with Stage Technology representatives.

Lisa Westkaemper, USITT's acting vice president for promotion & development, praised Sayre and Stage Technology for seeing and moving to fill a gap in the Awards for Young Designers & Technicians in the Performing Arts. "By creating this award, Stage Technology recognizes the innovative and creative work being done in undergraduate programs across the nation. Our panel of adjudicators look forward to reviewing the submissions for this award," she said.

Stage Technology, based in Minneapolis, MN, provides lighting, sound, drapery, track, and scenic materials plus a whole range of supplies and expendables through its catalog and web site. The company is a strong supporter of the industry, Westkaemper noted.

The new Stage Technology award joins an impressive lineup of awards for those starting their careers offered through USITT, including nine current Awards for Young Designers & Technicians and the USITT Rising Star Award established by LDI2006/Live Design.

All of the awards support the mission of USITT, the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, Inc., to recognize excellence in the performing arts and entertainment industry.