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School of Theater sweeps competition, wins national award

ATHENS, Ohio (Feb. 23, 2007) -- Ohio University's School of Theater proved its excellence again by sweeping the statewide design competition for the fourth consecutive year. The school also received the highest national student design award, the Tobin Award for Design Excellence. 

Photos courtesy of the School of TheaterThe School of Theater graduate student designers will take home the Tobin Award for the best presentation in the U.S. Schools of Scenography Exhibit. This installation will represent the United States at the Prague Quadrennial International Design Exhibition this June. The Tobin Award comes with a $2500 cash prize, and the recipients will be formally announced to the public at the annual United States Institute of Theatre Technology Convention in Phoenix, Ariz., in March. 

Ohio University competed against Yale University, New York University, University of Texas at Austin and Carnegie Mellon, among others, to win this award. The award-winning display features last year's main stage production of "Marat/Sade," designed by Eric Beeck, Kerrie Lovercheck and Myron Elliot. Work created by graduate students Brandon Kirkham, Rachelle Beckerman, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Trupp, Natalie Taylor, Pavlo Bosyy and Andreea Mincic is also included.

"Winning the Tobin Award, which is the highest award given, was very exciting," said Ursula Belden, head of production design in the School of Theater. "We were up against some elite competition and winning was great."

Photos courtesy of the School of Theater.In addition, a performance piece titled "SAFE" created by two School of Theater designers will be recognized with a USITT Award of Excellence in Performance.  Designer Ana Milosovic conceived the piece, and graduate designer Rebecca Fergusson and Milosovic will perform this piece daily during the two-week run of the Prague Quadrennial. 

The School of Theater also won five out of eight prizes at the 2006 annual juried USITT-OHIO Exhibition, held this year at Penn State University. Two of these prizes were Awards of Outstanding Achievement, the highest accolade given in the competition. Eric Beeck and Kerrie Lovercheck won Awards of Outstanding Achievement, and Rachelle Beckerman, Brian Kelley and Brandon Kirkham won Awards of Distinction. To be eligible to compete in this exhibition, the piece must have been designed in Ohio, produced in Ohio or created by a resident of Ohio.

"The fact that for a number of years we have been sweeping the competition shows that we are one of the best professional training programs in the area," Belden said.

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Media Contact: Media Specialist George Mauzy at 740-597-1794 or mauzy@ohio.edu

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