The 2017 Houston Press Theatre Awards were announced this fall, thrusting the UH School of Theatre & Dance into the spotlight with two awards — the first won by a theatre alumnus for lighting design and the second won by UH’s long-time lead costume designer. Learn more about the winners and the productions that grabbed audiences’ attention!
Clint Allen — Best Lighting
At the 2017 Houston Shakespeare Festival, audiences were mesmerized by the rock-and-roll-infused production of “Richard III,” which opened with bright lights and vivid projections pulsating in time with Black Sabbath.
“It was a hardcore opening,” laughs Clint Allen (M.F.A. Theatre ’12), a School of Theatre & Dance alumnus who designed the lighting for both HSF productions this year. Allen has worked with the play’s director Lenny Banovez before, an experience that gave him an extra edge when preparing the lighting and projections for “Richard III.”
“I could understand Lenny’s vision. As he described his concept, which was really interesting and dark, I told him, ‘I’ve got it!’ and he trusted me,” he says. “Plus, Shakespearean tragedies are just more fun because you can do a lot of visually interesting things with them.”
Margaret Crowley — Best Costumes
In Main Street Theater’s two-part production about the life and times of Henry VII, “Wolf Hall/Bring Up the Bodies,” lavish costumes dripping with baubles, fur and brocades brought audience favorites Anne Boleyn, Thomas Cromwell and King Henry VII, himself, to life. Margaret Crowley, head costumer for the UH School of Theatre & Dance, led the team responsible for creating the jaw-dropping outfits.
“I didn’t know if it would be possible, at first,” she admits. But after extensive research into the historical figures, their preferred style of dress and fabrics representative of the time, she and her team created a wardrobe for each character – and to spectacular success. “There were over twenty characters in each play, but the outfits turned out beautifully. It was truly a team effort.”
Read more about the 2017 Houston Press Theatre Awards.