Asst. Professor Joe C. Klug is the 2020 recipient of the USITT Rising Star Award!
The Rising Star Award, sponsored by LDI/Live Design, is given annually to a young professional at the beginning of their career. The award recognizes excellence and artistic achievement in scenic, lighting, sound, projection design, or a convergence of these design disciplines.
I was nominated for the award. Once I was notified of my nomination, I had to put together a packet of supplemental portfolio materials that showcased my work (including this year’s Arizona Repertory Theatre’s “A Night at Ballyhoo.” That packet of materials was then submitted to USITT and then was judged by a group of panelists who then selected the recipient of the award.
How does it feel to be recognized for your work?
It is incredibly humbling to be selected this year. My work as a Scenic Designer, over the last several years has been one of immense growth and self-discovery. As Robert Edmond Jones once said, “The theater is a school we shall never have done with studying and learning.” Every production process, every creative team, every story that I help bring to life on stage helps me discover something new about the world around me, and also about myself. In reality, this award represents more than just myself, it represents the work of hundreds of artists that I have collaborated with over the years that have helped me develop and grow as an artist.
What are a couple of your most-proud stage achievements?
One of my most- proud career moments was when I was selected to join United Scenic Artist Local 829. (It is our Union of Theatre Designers/Artists) Joining USA 829 meant that my work had developed to a higher level and to be recognized and accepted into the Union was truly amazing.
However, I think the proudest moment is to be able to do what I love on a daily basis. I am one of the lucky ones that gets to collaborate and help bring these stories to life on stage for audiences all over the country. As an artist, I get to help spark a new conversation with our audiences, and help them discover something new about the world around them. That is something that is truly special, and something that I could not be more proud of.
See more of Joe’s work here: www.jckscenicdesigns.com