USA Senior Brittney Harrell has been named the national recipient of the Allied Design and Technology Award from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF). The award was presented at the National Conference of the U.S. Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) in Milwaukee on March 18.
Harrell won for her ark animal costumes and masks from USA’s fall musical production, “Children of Eden”, which was designed and directed by faculty members Rebecca Britton and Karen Baker. In addition to the award, Harrell received a scholarship to attend eight weeks of master classes valued at $10,000 at the Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas during the summer. Her courses will cover foam sculpting, pyrotechnics, design software and prosthetics.
“I remember watching the Kennedy Center awards as a child,” said Harrell. “To now have my own Kennedy Center award for college theater is very surreal and a wonderful affirmation that this is the creative field God made me for. I am also thankful for my talented, hard-working crew and my professors at the University of South Alabama. This award is as much for them as it is for me.”
The award was open to students who had completed major design or technology projects in a broad group of technical categories including: makeup, properties, millinery, masks, wigs, scenic art, puppets, special effects, costume craft, and audio engineering. It was sponsored by the University Resident Theatre Association, USITT, the Stage Craft Institute of Las Vegas, and Focal Press.
Harrell was the KCACTF Region IV winner in February. She received an expense-paid trip to attend the national conference, where she also had the opportunity to attend workshops, network, interview for internships, and look into graduate school opportunities. In this preliminary competition, Harrell’s adjudicators included Tony award-winning scenic designer, Todd Rosenthal; Broadway costume designer, Toni-Leslie James; and National Chair of KCACTF for design, Kip Shawger.
Harrell, from Stapleton, Ala., will graduate in May with a bachelor of fine arts in costume design. After her summer courses in Las Vegas, she will begin a costume apprenticeship with Arkansas Repertory Theatre.
The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide. It has a network of more than 600 academic institutions throughout the country, and provides a platform for theater departments and student artists to showcase their work and receive outside professional assessment. USA’s Department of Dramatic Arts has participated in the program since the 1970’s.