ASTC/USITT Student/Consultant Theatre Renovation Challenge 2016
Three teams presented their projects for the 2016 ASTC-USITT Renovation Challenge on March 18 at the USITT Conference in Salt Lake City. The Renovation Challenge has been 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 Theatre 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.
The $750 Honor Award was given to KelseyLiz Habla and Charles Canfield, undergraduate architecture students from University at Buffalo for their adaptive-reuse project in which they proposed to renovate the historic Cyclorama Building in Buffalo, which currently houses an accounting firm, into a new indoor home for the theatre company Shakespeare in Delaware Park. Their Theatre Consultant mentor was Steven Friedlander, ASTC with faculty advisor Jon Shimon.
The Merit Award was given to Nick Saiki, Adam Crowell, Andrew Diamond, and Jeremy Dominik of the University of Cincinnati – College Conservatory of Music for their comprehensive renovation proposal for the Patricia Corbett Theatre. Their Theatre Consultant mentor was Paul G. Sanow, ASTC and their faculty advisor was Stirling S. Shelton.
Mitchell Cramond, 3rd year MFA candidate at the Yale School of Drama presented a proposal for an adaptive-reuse project renovating the Yonkers/Genwood power plant into a multi-venue educational and performing arts facility. His team members included Michael Hsu and Spencer Hardy. Their Theatre Consultant mentor was Gene Leitermann, ASTC and their faculty advisor was Matt Welander.
Michael McMackin, FASTC, served as the Chairman of the Renovation Challenge. The jurors were K. Paul Luntsford, ASTC, Heather McAvoy, ASTC and Robert Smulling, ASTC.
The Jury acknowledged, “The Challenge participants impressed the jury with their creative use of the unique architectural features of the structures they chose to work with, while balancing practical considerations of theatrical function and audience comfort and experience.”
Students and educators who would like to benefit from next year’s Challenge should consider incorporating this opportunity in their academic schedules. Details for the 2017 Challenge to be presented at USITT 2017 in Saint Louis, Missouri, are available on the ASTC Website HERE. For information . We look forward to more participation and exciting work at the 2017 USITT Conference and Expo in Saint Louis, Missouri.
By Michael McMackin, FASTC & Heather McAvoy, ASTC