Nominations Open For The 2024 USITT Rising Star Award

USITT members can nominate young professionals for the 2024 USITT Rising Star Award, sponsored by LDI and Live Design

The award recognizes excellence and artistic achievement by young professionals at the beginning of their careers in scenic, lighting, sound, and projection design, or the convergency of these design disciplines. 

Nominations will close December 6, and the Rising Star Award will be presented at the USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo, which takes place March 20-23, 2024, in Seattle, WA.

Nomination & Submission

  • Please feel free to nominate deserving young professionals for this award.
  • To be eligible, nominees must be in their first four years of professional (non-academic) work following the completion of their highest degree.
  • Confirmation of nomination will be sent to the nominee with an invitation to complete their award submission.
  • Successful nominees will demonstrate their professional accomplishments by submitting up to eight (8) representative samples of their work, two (2) letters of support, and a current professional resume or link to website.
  • Nominees are judged for their range of knowledge and for their integration of skills, craft, and artistry as demonstrated by their work.

Sponsors LDI and Live Design, who have a long history of working with USITT, founded this award in 2005 to support emerging designers, and are thrilled to support this award on an ongoing basis.

Previous Rising Stars:

Last year's winner, Adam J. Thompson, is a video/media designer and multimedia performance director. Read Live Design's QA with him here

Freelance scenic designer Kristen Martino was the 2022 recipient of the USITT Rising Star Award, she talked to Live Design about her journey starting out as a scenic designer here.

2021 winner, Elizabet Puksto from Vilnius, Lithuania, discusses her art direction for the immersive Modeland for Tyra Banks and designing music videos for various artists here.

Rising Star Award Winners 2005-2023:

2023: Adam J. Thompson, video/media designer.

2022: Kristin Martino, scenic designer

2021: Elizabet Puksto, scenic/production designer

2020: Joe Klug, scenic designer

2019: Maranda DeBusk, lighting/projection designer

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 

Click here for more information on the USITT Rising Star Award.