USM Theatre Students Win Awards at Southeastern Theatre Conference Competition
Wed, 04/15/2020 - 09:36am | By: Mike Lopinto
Students from the Theatre program in the School of Performing and Visual Arts at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) recently attended the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) in Louisville, KY, where USM dominated the Hair and Makeup Design Competition winning first, second, and third place.
This year, Hair and Makeup Design was a new category, and in its inaugural year, USM students swept the awards for designs from productions presented right here at Southern Miss. First-place winner, Jackson Jones, won for his designs for Ah, Wilderness! by Eugene O'Neill; second-place winner, Rachel Roan, won for her designs for Guys and Dolls by August Wilson; and third-place winner, Amoy Cooper, won for her designs for Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman.
“The SETC and the Hair and Makeup Design Competition were wonderful opportunities for students to learn from theatre professionals and establish a network for career building,” said Theresa Bush, assistant professor in the Theatre program.
“Winning at this Competition gives the program national exposure and recognition for its tradition of excellence in theatre design and technology,” she added.
The annual SETC Convention brings over 5,000 members of our theatre community together for three and a half days of workshops, keynotes, performance festivals, auditions, college recruiting, job interviews, and more. Each year SETC invites industry legends to adjudicate student work in various aspects of costumes, scenery, lighting, and sound.
Jackson Jones, first-place winner and a senior theatre major from Perkinston, Miss described his design concept and research presentation.
“My presentation included mood images, such as impressionist paintings and political cartoons, that captured my interpretation of the characters and influenced my style decisions,” Jones said. “Each rendering was accompanied by a collection of research and reference images, also known as a makeup morgue, that inspired the character look and features. Research also
included analyzing the script, reading O'Neill's biography, and studying hair and makeup practices during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I also researched possible influences on the characters' styles, including their political and religious beliefs, Edwardian relationship norms, and bohemianism.”
“I collaborated with Louis Rackoff, director of Ah, Wilderness! and professor in theatre and J. Theresa Bush, costume designer, to understand the production goals and make specific design choices,” he added.
Southern Miss Theatre’s Graduate Program in Costume Design and Technical is a three-year professional training in which students receive close mentoring from costume design faculty and professional staff in designing and building shows for our production season as well as portfolio development, career advisement, and independent study. Students collaborate with faculty, staff, and undergraduates in an environment that models industry standards, and their work is featured annually in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.
For more information about Southern Miss Theatre’s Graduate Program in Costume Design and Technical visit usm.edu/graduate-programs/theatre.php