The American Society of Theatre Consultants Announces New Fellows and Members

May 10, 2016- The American Society of Theatre Consultants (ASTC) has recognized two members for their outstanding service to the society and to the profession at its Business Meeting held in conjunction with the USITT Annual Conference in Salt Lake City.

Robert Shook, FASTC

Robert Shook, FASTC

Robert Shook, FASTC of Schuler Shook and Michael McMackin, FASTC of Auerbach Pollock Friedlander are recipients for 2016. Mr. Shook has served as ASTC Board President, started the Publications Committee and has a distinguished body of performing arts design work. Heather McAvoy, ASTC stated, “In addition to serving as our President, Bob has been a consistent and significant contributor to the growth of ASTC and to the theatre architecture industry in general through his design work, teaching and participation in associated organizations.”

Michael McMackin, FASTC

Michael McMackin, FASTC

Mr. McMackin has served as the ASTC President and Vice-President, has contributed to many initiatives of the society and has a portfolio of high quality performing arts design. Edward Kaye, ASTC noted, “Mike is the epitome of an individual deserving Fellowship recognition as he has rendered significant service to ASTC for so many years, including several terms as President.” A very limited percentage of the membership of ASTC can be named Fellows, so this is a significant honor. ASTC was founded in 1983 and currently has 73 full members and two associate members representing 31 consulting companies in the US and Canada. Now in its 33rd year, ASTC has now awarded the honor of Fellow to five members.

Also at the Spring Business Meeting, Joshua C. Allen of Theatre Consultants Collaborative (TCC) was admitted into membership after having demonstrated a broad range of capabilities and experience necessary to fulfill the ASTC requirements.
( Grace Gavin Rhodes of Wrightson Johnson Haddon Williams (WJH&W), who was a member in the past, has been returned to active status after time out of the country. A complete list of members and their contact information is available on the ASTC website:


April 26, 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.

Mike 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 at For information contact Michael McMackin at We look forward to more participation and exciting work at the 2017 USITT Conference and Expo in Saint Louis, Missouri.

For the 2017 ASTC/USITT Student Theatre Renovation Challenge:
Applications Due: October 31, 2016, 5:00 PM EST (complete information & forms are available from the ASTC website: ASTC-USITT 2017 Renovation Challenge).
Submissions Due: February 10, 2017 5:00PM EST; USITT Conference Presentation Date & Time TBD.

APR 2015 The American Society of Theatre Consultants Announcements from USITT meeting

Cincinnati, Ohio April 2– The American Society of Theatre Consultants (ASTC) Annual Meeting for 2015 was held March 21, 2015 at the Duke Energy Center in Cincinnati, Ohio in conjunction with the USITT meeting. At this meeting a new Board of Directors and Officers were elected as well as the acceptance of a new ASTC Full Member.

The Board of Directors is the governing body of ASTC and is elected by members. The board members elect ASTC officers from the current board. Peter Rosenbaum will now serve as ASTC President with Chip Ulich serving as Vice President. Returning as Secretary/CFO is R. Duane Wilson. These officers also serve as board members with the addition of directors Scott Crossfield, Ed Kaye, Mike McMackin, and Peter Scheu.

ASTC is also pleased to announce that D. Andrew Gibbs has been admitted into membership after having demonstrated a broad range of capabilities and experience necessary to fulfill the ASTC requirements.

D. Andrew Gibbs, Ph.D., not only is the principal theatre consultant at D. A. Gibbs Associates, but also serves as Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre, University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. Through his over 30 year career, Dr. Gibbs has served as a theatre consultant for such projects as: Fayetteville High School for Performing Arts Center, Arkansas State University – Mountain Home Center for Community Development, and the First United Methodist Church in Shreveport, LA.

NOV 2013 The American Society of Theatre Consultants Announces Acceptance of New Members

San Francisco, Calif. November 19– The American Society of Theatre Consultants (ASTC) is pleased to announce the following six theatre consultants who have been admitted into membership after having demonstrated a broad range of capabilities and experience necessary to fulfill the ASTC requirements.

Accepted as Full Members:

Tony Forman, SeniorConsultant with Theatre ProjectsConsultants, Inc. Tony has over 25 years of experience working in international, regional and college theatre. Joining TPC in 2007, he has provided project management, programming, theatre planning and consultation in facility management and operations. He has served as project manager on the renovation, refurbishment and new construction of more than thirty venues for TPC.

Robert Hill, Senior Associate with Auerbach • Pollock • Friedlander. Robert joined the San Francisco office in 2006 working as project manager, senior consultant and designer. He brings more than fifteen years of technical theatre and theatrical lighting design experience to the firm, including work on more than 100 operas in the United States, including company lighting designer for the San Francisco Opera. His work with Auerbach Consultants has ranged from corporate conference centers, large Las Vegas venues to university auditoriums.

Albert “Rusty” Cadaret, Founding partner with TSG Design Solutions. Prior to the 1995 founding of TSG Design Solutions,Inc., Rusty worked as a technical manager and director for an array of theatres. With a strong background in audio systems engineering and on-site installations, he has worked on various projects from amphitheatres to college multi-use auditoriums and theatres.

Paul Luntsford, President and Principal Consultant, PLA Designs, Inc. With an educational background in architecture and engineering, Paul has been a facilities design consultant since 1976. He has a portfolio of projects national in scope, consisting of professional and educational performing arts centers, broadcast facilities, museum and theme park attractions, neighborhood churches and mega-church worship centers.

Upgraded from Associate to Full Membership:

Harold “Chip” Ulich, Project Theatre Consultant, Schuler Shook. Chip’s theatre background includes his work as Technical Director and Director of Operations at Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix and Special Projects Director for Scottsdale Cultural Council. Joining Schuler Shook in 2006, Chip has combined his experience in theatre operations and building management with his knowledge of lighting systems for a wide range of performing arts venues.

Paul Sanow, Consultant, Bill Conner Associates LLC. After a brief stint with the New Mexico Repertory Theatre as master electrician, Paul joined Vincent Lighting Systems where he worked for 15 years collaborating with lighting representatives, engineers and consultants developing new projects. Paul has worked with Bill Conner Associates since 2007 consulting on projects for high schools, colleges and regional theatres.

OCT 2011 American Society of Theatre Consultants Announces
Edgar L. Lustig to Receive First Honorary Fellow

ST. LOUIS, MO  October 18—At the annual meeting of the American Society of Theatre Consultants (ASTC), held this year in St. Louis, MO, it was announced Edgar L. Lustig has been named as the first Fellow of ASTC (FASTC).

Jim Read, ASTC President stated; “The Fellows membership category has been established to honor members who have rendered conspicuous service or made notable contributions to the advancement or diffusion of the knowledge of theatre consulting, or the fostering of its practical applications, and who have rendered significant service to the ASTC in multiple fashions. In recognition of decades of service to ASTC and his contribution to the world of theatre, we are proud to announce the elevation of Ned Lustig to the most honored status of Fellow of the American Society of Theatre Consultants.”

Edgar (Ned) L. Lustig has been a theatre consultant for forty-six years. As a founding member, he has served as Secretary-Treasurer since the formation of ASTC in 1983. He has made prodigious contributions in technical theatre as technician, manager, technical director, manufacturer, designer and consultant. Lustig is known for his inventions and innovations in theatre and lighting equipment technology, most notably the dimmer affixed to the lighting instrument.  His consulting work includes The Ferrara Theatre in America’s Convention Complex, High Point University’s Hayworth Fine Arts Center, University of Chicago’s Mandel Hall, Wright State University’s Recital Hall and Drake University’s Fine Arts Center.  In addition Lustig has contributed his talents as set and lighting designer for theme park work at Busch Gardens Tampa and Williamsburg.

A theatre consultant is a professional advisor who provides guidance, advice and support to owners and design teams for the planning, design and equipping of theatres, concert halls and other types of facilities used for public assembly and presentation of the performing arts.  ASTC ( was founded with the mission to establish and maintain best practices within the theatre building design industry. ASTC has a continuing interest and involvement in the evolution of building codes and has been a major catalyst in the development of all of the major building and life safety codes pertaining to performance facility design.

The seventy-three ASTC members are comprised of professional theatre consultants who have demonstrated a broad range of capability and experience necessary to qualify for membership. As professionals, ASTC members have individual and collective interest in providing unbiased, functionally sound and practical consulting and design services to owners, users, architects and engineers of performance and assembly facilities. These interests are reflected in the objective and programs of the ASTC.