ASTC USITT Venue Renovation Challenge 2017


Posted on April 11th, by Michael McMackin in College/University Challenge, USITT. Comments Off on ASTC USITT Venue Renovation Challenge 2017

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PLEASE NOTE: The ASTC / USITT Venue Renovation Challenge will now be held every two years 2019, 2021, etc. with the Cash prizes significantly increased. Please see the latest post for the 2019 Challenge!


Entrants to the 5th annual ASTC USITT Renovation Challenge presented their projects on March 10th at the 57th USITT Conference in Saint Louis, Missouri. The challenge is designed to engage undergraduate and graduate students in real world theatre renovation problem solving. Students work under the guidance of a faculty advisor and a mentor from the American Society of Theater Consultants. Each team selected an existing venue, developed a scope of work for improvements and presented their ideas to a live audience and Jury of ASTC members at a USITT Conference Session.

ASTC USITT Venue Challenge  winners from Florida State Univ.

Florida State University – From left: Michael McMackin,FASTC, Johanna Miller, Erin Collopy, Zachary Brisco, and Todd Hensley, ASTC.

The $1,000 Edgar L. Lustig Honor Award was given to Johanna Miller, Erin Collopy and Zachary Briscoe undergraduate architecture students from Florida State University for their project in which they proposed to renovate the Drama Department’s Lab Theatre for back stage and front of house functional improvements. Their Theater Consultant mentor was Todd Hensley, ASTC and their faculty advisor was Jim Lile.

Erik Carter, from University of Oregon

University of Oregon – From left: Michael McMackin,FASTC, Erik Carter, Paul Luntsford, ASTC

A Merit Award was given to Erik Carter of University of Oregon for his comprehensive renovation proposal for Oregon Historical Society. Erik’s Theater Consultant mentor was Paul Luntsford, ASTC and their faculty advisor was Hajo Neis, PhD.

Entrants from SDSU

SDSU – From left: John Munoz, Kurt Thormodsen, Jessica Gilliard, Victoria Vitola, Sarah Schwartz, & Christina J. Martin

A Merit Award was also given to Jessica Gilliard, John Munoz, Christina J Martin, Victoria Vitola, Sarah Schwartz and Kurt Thormodsen for their thoughtful renovation plans for the San Diego State University Experimental Theatre. Their Theatre Consultant mentor was Jim Tetlow, ASTC and their faculty advisor was Anne McMills.

Mike McMackin, FASTC, served as the Chairman of the Renovation Challenge. The jurors were Andrew Gibbs, ASTC, Van Phillips, ASTC, Peter Scheu, ASTC and Robert Smulling, ASTC.

Juror Andrew Gibbs acknowledged, “Three carefully conceived and well-executed presentations were presented to the jury. We had our challenge to select the Honor Award winner. The jury reviewed all three projects thoroughly and in the process we enjoyed looking at three thoughtful renovations. Best wishes to all three teams. I look forward to the next challenge opportunity and hope to once again be a part of it.”

Students and educators who would like to benefit from the next Challenge should consider incorporating this opportunity in their academic schedules. Future ASTC USITT Venue Renovation Challenges will be held on odd years, the next taking place in 2019 with presentations in Louisville, Kentucky. The Challenge will alternate years with the USITT Architecture Commission’s Ideal Theatre Competition.

We look forward to more participation and exciting work at the 2019 USITT Conference and Expo.





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