AACT 2021 Design Competition | AACT

AACT 2021 Design Competition

2021 Virtual Design Competition
In conjunction with Virtual AACTFest 2021

"Best of the Decade!" Competition Celebrates Designers & Their Work

The AACT 2021 National Design Competition showcased the best of community theatre in this country. It was an opportunity for your theatre and designers to shine, sponsored by USITT.

AACT member theatres and their designers entered designs, which must have been for projects occurring between July 1, 2011 and May 1, 2021.  There were five design categories: Scenic, Lighting, Properties, Costume, and Special Design.

The competition's adjudicators have awarded honors to the following entries:

Award Winners

Outstanding Design: Madeline Ahston (Hale Centre Theatre, Sandy, UT) Daddy Long Legs.  Adjudicators: "This is visually stunning work and a very clever compression of multiple spaces into a single unit setting that enhances the flow of the show while creating a space that adds meaning to and throughout the progress of the show."
 
Scene Design:  Jack Yates (Theatre Memphis, Memphis TN) for The Drowsy Chaperone.  Adjudicators: "There is very careful attention to detail and finish in this work that sets a high standard for how a scene designer can create an environment with an atmosphere and creatively solve challenging technical requirements."

Lighting: Robert Frame (Auburn Public Theatre, Auburn NY) for Betrayal. Adjudicators: "The concept statement clearly defines the design approach and intent and the production photos document the accomplishment of that intent. Supporting documentation is very complete.  Lighting for shadow is difficult to do and this work preserves visibility while creating mood."
 
Special Design Project: Jack Yates  (Theatre Memphis, Memphis TN) for Shrek Dragon Head.  Adjudicators: "Three-dimensional work on this scale is difficult to do. The attention to careful sculpting, overall appearance and management of the scale of the illusion show a high level of design and technical skills."

Honorable Mention

Costume: Rhonda Turnquist (Cottage Theatre, Cottage Grove, OR)  for The Importance of Being Earnest.  Adjudicators: "Of special note for this recognition would be the spectacular work in the tailoring and fitting of the men's suits for this period play."
 
Lighting: Mandy Heath (Theatre Memphis, Memphis TN) for Cats.  Adjudicators: "Merging theatrical and dance lighting techniques allowed the accomplishment for memorable visual moments in this production. Work was supported with a clear concept and required documentation."

View the Entries:
Scenic Design Costume Design Properties Design 
Lighting Design   Special Design  

2021 Design Competition Adjudicators

Wallace, WilliamWilliam Wallace is Professor of Theatre Arts at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. He received an M.F.A. in Theatre Design and Technical Direction from the University of Minnesota. Bill has taught theatre in a high school and at a small college on the East Coast, has worked as a free-lance designer, and has been the designer/technical director for a small repertory company. He served as an adjudicator for the 2017 AACT Design Competition

 

Emo, Ann Ann R. Emo is Chair and Professor at the Theater Department at Buffalo State University in Buffalo, New York, where she teaches costume design, stage make-up, and technical theater. She received her M.F.A. from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and worked in the New York City area for several years, designing costumes for stage, dance, film, and opera. She has also designed for several theatres in Buffalo, New York, including Studio Arena Theatre, Theater of Youth (TOY), Shakespeare in Delaware Park, Kavinoky Theatre, Irish Classical Theatre Company, and the Jewish Repertory Theater of Buffalo, as well as the GEVA Theatre Center in Rochester, New York.


The Competition Process

General Requirements

  •  A Design Competition Registration Form for each design entry, submitted by May 1, 2021.
  •  An Entry Fee of $20 submitted for each design entry.
  •  Qualifications:
    • Each entry must be a design created for an AACT member theatre production or be a design created by an AACT individual member for use by a community theatre. Productions must have been staged between July 1, 2011 and May 1, 2021.
    • Previous winners of AACT Design Competitions may not re-enter their winning design.
    • Each entry should represent a single design aspect of a single production.

  Virtual Display Specifics:

  • Every Virtual Display must include a written Design Statement in which the designer states the objective and challenges of the design. The entrant should also share his/her concept, thought, and rationale for the design. The Design Statement should be no longer than 350 words.
  • Every Virtual Display must include photos and/or videos of the design as it was originally presented. When possible, photos and videos should show the entirety of the world of the play. For example: a costumed actor on a set rather than an actor in the dressing room; a set under stage light with actors, not only under a work light.
  • Photos and/or videos will be submitted in a virtual format. Accepted file formats include: PDF, PPT, JPG, DOC (X), MP4, MOV.

a) The Design statement should be saved as an individual DOC or PDF, not bundled into a video or powerpoint slide show.

b)  The remainder of the Display should be consistent using only one format, when possible.

c)  It is strongly suggested that the .jpgs you choose be presented in a cohesive format rather than individual pictures. Suggested formats are:

               (i) Videos, which may not be longer than 5 minutes. Note-You can link jpegs, etc. to create a video design entry.. The video should not just be a scene from a show unless it is to demonstrate an f/x. 

               (ii)    DOC or PDF, which should be no more than 8 pages.

               (iii)   A Powerpoint (PPT) with no more than 15 slides. 

  • A pleasing virtual presentation of the design entry is strongly encouraged. Entrants should include anything they think will help the adjudicators envision and comprehend their design.
  • The Special Design category is for special technical projects which may include, but is not limited to: sound, puppets, masks, special F/X, rain, blood, projections, etc.

                5.  Presentation:

  • Entries were displayed online during Virtual AACTFest 2021, June 14-20, 2021.

Criteria for Adjudication

  • Did the Design Statement clearly reference the overall design concept: how it was developed, and how it supported the production.
  • Did the Virtual Display successfully present the design? Was it engaging and organized? Did it reflect the design skills of the artist?
  • How did choices of color, line, texture, composition, and motion reflect the objectives and solutions chosen? Were these design elements presented as a unified whole?
  • Did the design support the world of the play in a fashion integrated with the other elements?
  • What were the challenges faced? How successful and appropriate were the solutions chosen?
  • Does the design show a command of the tools and crafts of the artist and have a high degree of finish?
  • What is the overall impact of the Virtual Display?

Adjudication Notes

  • The adjudicators will have sole responsibility for the interpretation of these criteria and their execution.
  • Every entrant will receive an e-mail with written feedback from the adjudicators on his/her design and virtual display.
  • The decisions of the adjudicators will be final.
  • There will be an online talk-back session with the design adjudicators during the week of Vrtual AACTFest 2021. The adjudicators will discuss 2 – 3 designs and virtual displays from each design category during the talk-back.

2021 Design Competition Adjudicators

Wallace, WilliamWilliam Wallace is Professor of Theatre Arts at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. He received an M.F.A. in Theatre Design and Technical Direction from the University of Minnesota. Bill has taught theatre in a high school and at a small college on the East Coast, has worked as a free-lance designer, and has been the designer/technical director for a small repertory company. He served as an adjudicator for the 2017 AACT Design Competition

 

Emo, Ann Ann R. Emo is Chair and Professor at the Theater Department at Buffalo State University in Buffalo, New York, where she teaches costume design, stage make-up, and technical theater. She received her M.F.A. from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and worked in the New York City area for several years, designing costumes for stage, dance, film, and opera. She has also designed for several theatres in Buffalo, New York, including Studio Arena Theatre, Theater of Youth (TOY), Shakespeare in Delaware Park, Kavinoky Theatre, Irish Classical Theatre Company, and the Jewish Repertory Theater of Buffalo, as well as the GEVA Theatre Center in Rochester, New York.

 

 

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