On April 18 at 7 p.m., Purchase College, State University of New York’s Broadway Technical Theatre History Project, will honor the memory of Broadway technical theater legend, Pete Feller, Sr. when it presents his family with the esteemed “Backstage Legends and Masters Award.”
Feller joins previous Backstage Legends and Masters honorees Artie Siccardi (2012), Arnold Abramson (2013), Fred Gallo (2014), and Gene O’Donovan (2015).
As the founder of one of the premier scenic construction shops of its time, Feller Scenery, Feller was not only responsible for building a host of Broadway productions, he also trained and inspired an entire generation of shop owners including Jere Harris, Fred Gallo, Bill Mensching, Nino Novellino, Gene O’Donovan, and Gary Raussenberger. Feller also significantly influenced the development and use of electronically controlled automation in productions and helped redefine how scene shops operate, ushering in a streamlined process which consolidates various trades under one roof.
“It’s hard to imagine the existence of an award like this without recognizing Pete Feller, Sr. His role in the world of Broadway theatre is so extraordinary, and continues to influence so much of what is going on today that this was an obvious choice,” says Dan Hanessian, associate professor at Purchase, who launched the Broadway Technical Theatre History Project in 2011. “To say that Feller is a critical piece of the history of technical theatre doesn’t even begin to capture the importance he played and the influence he still has today.” Hanessian trains up-and-coming technical directors and production managers in the Design/Technology Program of the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Purchase.
The free event will take place in the Performing Arts Center on the College’s campus at 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, NY. It will be webcast live and archived for future viewing.