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URTA Announces Recipients of 2021 Excellence Awards

The awards, to be presented in January, celebrate the work of 8 individual educators and 2 institutions.

NEW YORK CITY: The University Resident Theatre Association (URTA) has announced the recipients of the 2021 Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Training. The awards recognize the work of undergraduate instructors, coaches, mentors, and institutions for excellence in the training and preparation of undergraduate theatre artists. Awardees will be honored at a January reception during the URTAs, the annual recruiting event held each year in multiple cities, which bring together prospective MFA candidates and faculty recruiters from dozens of top theatre schools.

Individual awards went to Amelia McClain, assistant professor at the University of Evansville, for acting; Alessia Carpoca, professor at the University of Montana, for costume design and technology; Miguel Vando, professor at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, for lighting design and technology; Jessica Mueller, associate professor at Belmont University, for projection/media design; Matthew Georgeson, assistant professor at Frostburg State University, for properties design; Jason Foreman, professor at Oklahoma City University, for scenic design and technology; Hideaki Tsutsui, professor at the University of Texas, El Paso, for sound design and technology; and Daniel Volonte, professor at Citrus College, for technical direction.

Additionally, Norfolk State University and the University at Buffalo were awarded for acting and design and technology, respectively, as institutions.

“It is humbling to be selected from the vast and amazing collection of America’s undergraduate theatre training programs to receive this honor for excellence in actor training,” said professor Anthony Stockard, director of NSU theatre, in a statement. “Heartfelt respect and thanks goes to all of our wonderful Norfolk State University alumni. It has been their passion, hard work, and dedication to developing as artists during their undergraduate training here at Norfolk State University that has continuously propelled them to excellence.”

The University Resident Theatre Association was founded in 1969 and hosts the URTA auditions and interviews (the URTAs), in which more than 1,200 candidates pursuing graduate training in theatre take part each year. The URTAs, which also include classes, workshops, and panel discussions, will return to in-person programming while maintaining online options for candidates in 2022.

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