Janie Bullard: 2014 USITT Rising Star Winner


New York sound designer Janie Bullard will receive the 2014 Rising Star Award sponsored by LDI/Studio Live Design and presented annually at USITT to a young designer in the areas of scenic, lighting, sound, or projection design, or the convergence of these design disciplines. It is given to new professionals in the first four years of their careers after completing their highest academic degree. The award has been sponsored in perpetuity by LDI/Studio Live Design with the first Rising Star presented in 2005.

Bullard, a 2010 MFA graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, will accept the award at USITT’s 2014 Annual Conference & Stage Expo March 26-29 in Fort Worth, Texas. She will receive a $1,000 cash prize and free registration to the conference.

In the four years since she moved to New York “with $6,000 in savings and one sound design gig lined up,” Bullard has made a name for herself on New York’s indie theatre scene and is currently “designing like crazy,” she said.


She has done sound design and created original music for Off-Broadway productions by the Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, the Lee Strasburg Theatre and Film Institute, the York Theatre Company, and Theatre 167, among others. Indie Theatre Now named her one of its 15 People of the Year for 2013, calling her “an inventive and ubiquitous sound designer and composer.”

“Janie has already made significant progress building her own career as a sound designer, with more than 40 sound designs regionally and in NYC,” Jason Romney, associate professor of sound design at UNCSA, wrote in a recommendation letter to USITT.


A native of Sanford, N.C., Bullard received her BA in Dramatic Art from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill in 2007. In grad school at UNCSA, she was a teaching assistant for David Smith, Director of the Theatre Sound Program, and assisted him on sound designs for the Triad Stage in Greensboro, N.C. and subsequently designed for Triad.

Her 2013 sound design credits include Flux Theatre Ensemble’s two spring rep productions, Honey Fist by August Schulenberg and Sans Merci by Johnna Adams (for which she also composed original music.) This year she will work on two upcoming productions with director Daniel Talbott, The Gin Baby by Sarah Shaefer and Foo Fable by David Van Asselt.

Ellen Lampert-Gréaux, creative director of Studio Live Design, said the Rising Star Award “is a great way to congratulate a young designer on an outstanding debut to a promising career. We are particularly pleased to congratulate this year’s winner, Janie Bullard, as there are not that many women who enter the field of sound design. She joins 2008 winner Elisheba Ittoop as the second female sound designer to merit the Rising Star Award. We expect to hear great things from Janie in the future.”

Past Recipients

2013 Aaron Porter, lighting designer

2012 Jason Simms, scenic designer

2011 Daniel Brodie, projection designer

2010 Ben Pilat, lighting designer

2009 Sean Savoie, lighting designer

2008 Elisheba Ittoop, sound designer

2007 John Horan, lighting designer

2006 Justin Townsend, scenic and lighting designer

2005 Kelly Hanson, scenic designer


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