"Our Town" Receives Outstanding Achievement Award from Theatre Association of New York State

"Our Town" Receives Outstanding Achievement Award from Theatre Association of New York State

Date posted: 2017-04-06 14:08:04

Two HASS faculty members – Rebecca Rouse, Assistant Professor of Commmunication and Media, and Marc Destefano, Lecturer in Cognitive Science and a mainstay of the Games & Simulation Arts & Sciences program – have been recognized for their groundbreaking production of Our Town: A New Media Theatrical Experience presented at EMPAC last month.

The Theatre Association of New York State (TANYS) gave the production a total of six Roving Adjudicator Awards, including its highest honor, an Outstanding Achievement award, for Production Concept to Rouse, Destefano and their collaborators Clare Johnson and Brendan Padgett. This marks the first time that Rensselaer has received an "Outstanding" for a theatrical production, and is one of only two "Oustandings" given by TANYS this year.

Our Town also won an Excellence in Collaboration, awarded to the entire production team – The RPI Players, EMPAC, The School of HASS, Rensselaer Union, Rensselaer Choir, and Seattle4Culture – and four Meritorious Achievement awards, one for Exhibition Design (to HASS Arts Lecturer Jefferson Kielwagen and Arts grad student Kasalina Nabakooza), two for Acting, and one for Ensemble Acting.  Our Town was one of only two productions to win six awards this year.

The Excellence recognition denotes "Theatrical skill base not routinely noted in non-professional theatre," while the Outstanding Achievement honors "Theatrical skill base rarely seen in non-professional theatre."

Our Town: A New Media Theatrical Experience premiered at EMPAC Studio One on March 9, 10 & 11, 2017.  The goal of the production was to "reinvigorate this play for contemporary audiences" through the use of a large-scale immersive environment, gesture-based interactive systems, and a directional audio score.  Deatails about the production can be found here.

The Theatre Association of New York State fosters the contribution of theatre to the lives of the citizens of New York State, and promotes high standards of theatre practice thorugh education and example. 

The complete 2017 awards list can be found at the TANYS website:  http://www.tanys.org/2017MeritAwards.html