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M.F.A. Student Garners National Award

Ariana Schwartz, USITT Zelma H. Weisfeld Award

Schwartz conducts a fitting for a Still Life with Iris costume.
Photo by: Mark Rutkowski

Third year M.F.A. in costume design candidate, Ariana Schwartz, has been awarded the prestigious Zelma H. Weisfeld Costume Design and Technology Award. Presented by the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT), The Zelma H. Weisfeld Costume Design & Technology Award is given to an individual who has demonstrated excellence or outstanding potential in the areas of costume design or technology in the performing arts while pursuing a graduate degree.

In addition to a portfolio review, to be considered for the award, candidates must have been nominated by a faculty advisor. Schwartz submitted design renderings and photographs from three Theatre and Dance productions: Still Life with Iris, Br'er Wood and Pride and Prejudice. Faculty members Rusty Cloyes and Susan Mickey, both provided resounding endorsements.

Rendering for “Sister Duck” in Br'er Wood from Dance Repertory Theatre Adventures in Motion.

She notes her portfolio and recommendations alone did not constitute the honor. "The main reason I was selected is because of all the great creative and technical support I've received from faculty, staff and other students. My work has been well supported…so many talented, dedicated people worked exceptionally hard to bring my ideas to life. I am honored to be the recipient of the award and it makes me grateful for all the resources and support at UT," she explains. Schwartz will be recognized at USITT's 2010 annual conference in Kansas City.

“Sister Duck” on stage in Br'er Wood from Dance Repertory Theatre Adventures in Motion
Photo by: Amitava Sarkar

In addition to recognition at USITT, Schwartz and fellow third year M.F.A. in design candidate, Alison Heryer will display work from four UT productions, Still Life with Iris, Br'er Wood, The Nomadic Dream Project, and the upcoming, The Difficulty of Crossing a Field at the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space this June. The exhibition aims to present the most innovative projects, artists and experts in the field of theatre and performance design, and invites the national curators to help us shape a stimulating event full of challenging ideas and installations.

Also in June, Schwartz will lend her costume design talent to the ZACH Theatre production of Steven Dietz's play, Becky's New Car.

See Ariana at work this week, March 22– 28 in the B. Iden Payne Theatre Lobby as she presents Sunyata: Transfigurations in Silk, a live-process art event featuring silk painting, costume creation and dance.