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Rising Star Awards
MB 001.jpg Court Watson
Projection design for "Mockingbird" at Nashville Children’s Theatre

Maranda DeBusk Named 2019 USITT Rising Star Winner

Lighting and projection designer Maranda DeBusk to receive the 2019 USITT Rising Star Award sponsored by Live Design/LDI

Live Design/LDI is pleased to present the 2019 Rising Star Award to freelance lighting and projection designer Maranda DeBusk. Established by Live Design/LDI in 2005, the annual award recognizes a young professional working in the disciplines of scenic, lighting, sound, or projection design. DeBusk will be honored at the USITT Conference & Stage Expo, which takes place in Louisville, KY, on March 20-23, 2019.

“I was truly in shock when I got the email letting me know that I had been selected for the Rising Star Award,” says DeBusk. “I didn’t follow the traditional route and move to one of the major theatre hubs when I started my career. I’m trying to carve my own path, find a rhythm and a style that suits me. And for institutions like USITT and Live Design to recognize that there is more than one path to success is more than I could dream.” 

Maranda DeBusk. Headshot_canvas2.png

David Johnson, managing director for Live Design/LDI, notes, “It is very exciting to be able to award such a talented young designer as Maranda DeBusk, especially at a time when we all recognize the need for more women and more diversity in the entertainment design fields. We look forward to following her career in lighting and projection and applaud her creative spirit.”

David Grindle, USITT executive director, says that he, too, is excited about this award. “It’s always a thrill for me to be able to recognize a promising young designer like Maranda. One of the signal characteristics of the Institute is our enthusiasm for celebrating new and better ways of enhancing the design and tech process, and I can’t think of a better way to do that than to showcase emerging talent. USITT appreciates Live Design/LDI’s ongoing sponsorship of this award and its commitment to our industry’s rising stars!”

Maranda DeBusk is a freelance theatre artist specializing in lighting and projection designs. Currently traveling from theatre to theatre across the US, DeBusk's recent work has been seen in and around Atlanta, GA; Greenville, SC; Lexington, KY; Flat Rock, NC; Asbury Park, NJ; Rock Island, IL; Syracuse, NY; Providence, RI; and Knoxville, TN. In 2017, her lighting design for A Lesson Before Dying was exhibited at the World Stage Design Expo in Taipei, Taiwan as one of fifteen Emerging Designers worldwide. In 2019, her lighting design for Roméo et Juliette will be a Featured Emerging Design in the U.S. exhibit at the Prague Quadrennial 2019. At the core of all her work is her belief in the power of the dramatic arts to create positive change in our communities. The greatest work is that which when let out into the world, improves it.

Rising Star Award Winners 2005-2018

2018: Paige Hathaway, scenic designer

2017: Bryce Cutler, scenic & media designer

2016: Stephen Moss, lighting designer

2015: Chris Wood, lighting & sound designer

2014: Janie Bullard, sound designer

2013: Aaron Porter, lighting designer

2012: Jason Simms, scene 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, lighting & scenic designer

2005: Kelly Hanson, scenic designer 

TAGS: Theatre
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