Graduate makeup design student receives national USITT award

Johan Teng, a graduate student at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA), received the Kryolan Professional Makeup Design Award from the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) at its Annual Conference and Stage Expo held earlier this month in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

Teng, from Taiwan, is pursuing an M.F.A. from the School of Design and Production (D&P), and is the eighth UNCSA student to receive the award in the past 10 years, and the fifth consecutive UNCSA winner.

Johan Teng is a bright young talent in theatrical makeup design and technology. His creativity and skill will carry him far in his career, and he will be a powerful ambassador for the School of the Arts.

 D&P Dean Michael J. Kelley

Other previous winners from UNCSA include Chia Chia Feng in 2015, Kai Ravelson in 2014, Lauren Wilde in 2013, Holland Berson in 2012, Ming-Yen Ho in 2009; Kaylan Paisley in 2008 and Jillian Carter Rivers in 2007.  

In addition to Teng’s award, 10 D&P students were selected to participate in Young Designer Forums and Young Technician Forums at the USITT conference.

“The forums are a tremendous opportunity for students to receive professional critique of their portfolios,” Kelley said. “Only 30 students are selected for the forums, and this year a third of them are from UNCSA. That is truly remarkable.”

After a juried assessment process, USITT selects 15 students nationally to participate in each forum, for a total of 30. Selected students then submit their work for review and discussion with established designers and technicians. The student work is then put on display for all conference attendees to view.

“We are proud for our students to demonstrate the caliber of work that we do in the School of Design and Production, through participation in the forums,” Kelley added. 

Students who participated in the forums include: Samantha Sherman, wig and makeup; Melanie Lamb, costume technology; Jenna Snyder and Tony DiBernardo, scene design; Christy Kneisel, Alex Finkel and Chelsea Norman, scene painting; Aimee Phillips, sound design; Jen Gillette, costume design; and Alex Wylie, stage props.

Also at the USITT conference, the Tech Olympics brings teams of student members and their coaches from colleges and universities around the country to compete in a timed series of events designed to test their skills at the various disciplines involved in theatre production.

The Tech Olympics team from UNCSA included Brenna Skinnon, Colby McGraw, Zach Feivou, Al Osuna, Ben Abelman, Brian Mandel and Liza Hackman.

The nation’s leading association for the backstage industry, USITT serves nearly 4,000 members worldwide. Its annual conference offers more than 200 workshops, meetings and networking events for theatrical design professionals. USITT has recognized students with young designer and technician awards for 21 years.

To see more of Teng's work, visit his website.

by Lauren Whitaker

March 31, 2016