\ New York's Wingspace Theatrical Design, a collective of designers with a studio in Brooklyn’s Old American Can Factory, will design the United States exhibit for the 2015 Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space in Prague, Czech Republic.
The Prague Quadrennial (PQ), the world’s largest performance design event, draws over 25,000 visitors to Prague every four years for an exposition of the best in global scenography. USITT, the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, oversees and sponsors U.S. participation in the PQ, a process that began right after PQ 2011.
Wingspacewas chosen from 11 groups that entered the first U.S. National PQ Exhibit Space Design Competition, said theatrical designer Markéta Fantová, Chair of USITT’s International Activities Committee and Artistic Director for USITT-USA PQ 2015.
The Committee sought entries to the juried competition in late 2012. Submissions were required to reflect the dynamic and diverse landscape of American performance and celebrate performance design as art, Fantová said.
USITT displayed the 11 design submissions at its 2013 Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Milwaukee in March, inviting comments from some 5,000 conference-goers. The jury then narrowed the selection to six finalists for another review/interview process.
The jury chose Wingspace, a 22-member collective of award winning, internationally recognized designers, directors, and dramaturges whose members are working on Broadway, off Broadway, in regional theatre, opera, film, television, industrial design, concerts, music videos, and photo shoots.
Wingspace will work with the curators on a final design that will display exhibits and productions representing the best of recent American performance design. Their working theme is Sharedspace: Music, Weather, Politics.
Fantová said the committee was “impressed with Wingspace’s mission and commission to the collaborative process and art of theatrical design.”
“The idea of an ‘ephemeral studio’ of artists with backgrounds in scenic, lighting, costume, sound, and media design, as well as directors, writers, and thinkers, is an exciting and fresh approach,” she said. “We look forward to seeing how this model contributes to the development of the National Exhibit.”
“Wingspace is honored and thrilled to be the chosen designer for the US exhibition space at the Prague Quadrennial 2015,” Hevner said. “We look forward to collaborating with USITT to create an immersive experience that represents the diversity of US Theatrical Design, while showcasing the imaginative and groundbreaking work of US designers.”
The designers and curators will perfect the exhibit design by May 2014, and it will be constructed by a team from Indiana University’s Department of Theatre and Drama, led by Technical Director Paul Brunner. The curators will select the exhibit’s content in summer 2014, and the entire exhibit will be shipped to Prague in March 2015 for the June event.
USITT, the professional association for performing arts design and technology, has organized the U.S. exhibit to the PQ since 1975, and also oversees the U.S. exhibits in Architecture and Student theatrical design.
USITT provides networking, education, and career advancement opportunities to its members, and holds the backstage industry’s signature conference and trade show, the USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo, to be held next in Fort Worth, Texas, in March 2014. For more information on USITT, please visit www.usitt.org.
ABOUT WINGSPACE THEATRICAL DESIGN
Wingspace’s mission is to practice collaboration in the field of theatrical design while advancing a larger conversation about design with the community. Wingspace studios are located at The Old American Can Factory on the Fifth Street Basin of the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn.
ABOUT THE PRAGUE QUADRENNIAL
The Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space is the world’s premiere performance design event, often described as the Olympics or World Fair for performance designers. The PQ serves as a meeting point for artists from every continent, whose traditions and professional lives might not otherwise converge. By exhibiting thousands of designs from dozens of countries -- bringing together designers, directors, students, as well as the general public -- the PQ provides an unprecedented exchange of ideas that goes well beyond the narrow confines of theatrical design and style. With four major categories of exhibits; National, Thematic, Architectural and Student, the PQ has been a major factor in shaping the direction of world theatre and live performance for the past 40 years.
The PQ will be held in Prague, Czech Republic in June 2015. The curators and designers have begun work conceptualizing an exhibit that is responsive to the themes of the 2015 PQ, as established by Prague. Upon completion of conceptual design, the curators will announce the call for design submissions to be considered for inclusion in the USITT – USA National Exhibit.