Rising Star winner, LD, and set designer John Horan found USITT “paramount” this year. “The Tharon Musser conversation will and has already changed the way I approach my designs,” he says. The classes that I was able to sit in on have already had a very large effect on my designs, seeing as how I jumped right into Porchlight Music Theatre's production of Ragtime, which opened on April 9. I also was able to see a lot of very good friends that I have lost touch with over the years, which was priceless. The people that I met for the first time are superstars to me — Gil Densham, CEO of Cast Group; all of the Live Design people; all of Ms. Musser's assistants that I got the chance to speak to; the list goes on. The fact that I get to attend the Live Design BLMC has not quite set in. I can't even imagine what I am going to learn from the Masters.” The Rising Star Award, sponsored by LDI and Live Design, is presented annually to an outstanding young designer.