The ALD Announces the Winners of the ALD Awards for Excellence 2019

PHOTO CAPTION: Joint winner of the Michael Northen Award for Lighting Design, Lucia Sanchez Roldan, receives her award from ALD Chair, Johanna Town.

Following this year’s rebrand of the ALD’s Awards, to become the ALD Awards for Excellence, the Association is delighted to announce the winners in each category, including the newly targeted award, The Fred Foster Award for Production Electrics, which was created to balance the recognition of talent demonstrated across the membership profile.

Fittingly, the winners were announced at the Annual Lighting Lunch held at London’s Victoria Park Plaza in December. The awards are a celebration of imaginative and creative lighting and video production and represent a chance for young designers to showcase their talent, bringing their work to the attention of experienced lighting and video designers, as well to the wider reach of industry professionals.

The coveted Michael Northen Award for Lighting Design was this year awarded to two outstanding winners. Named in honour of the first credited lighting designer in the UK and his work on the “The Mousetrap” which can still be seen in London’s West End today, joint winners were Lucìa Sanchez Roldan from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art whose work the judges thought ‘beautiful… with strong design, clear choices, and great angles’ and Rose Bruford’s Ryan Joseph Stafford, who was commended for his ambition to create different looks for each piece, keeping only side light as the constant.

ALD Chair, Johanna Town, presented Lucia with her prize, which alongside a copy of Michael’s iconic book – ‘Northen Lights’ and a £500 cash prize, has this year been upgraded to include a 512 ETCnomad™ Package, a one-year Vectorworks license, and a six-month mentoring scheme with a team of industry professionals. Ryan received the same prize but was unable to make the event due to pre-existing work commitments.

LIPA’s Tracy Gibbs proudly walked away with the Blue-I Media Award for Video Design, presented by ALD president, Richard Pilbrow. The judges thought hers a beautifully presented portfolio that really conveyed how she liked to work as well as the end results. The award for the video production category has also been enhanced to be more relevant and alongside a £500 cash prize Tracy also won a £1,250 hire credit from the sponsors towards her first commercial venture as well as the six-month mentoring scheme with a team of industry professionals.

The first ever winner of the Fred Foster Award for Production Electrics, sponsored by ETC, was Rohan McDermott of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, who could not be at the event to claim his prize in person. The award was presented by ETC’s Regional Sales Manager for Ireland, & UK Rigging, Mark White, a friend and colleague of ETC’s legendary CEO, Fred Foster, who sadly passed away in February 2019.

Rohan’s former tutor, Guildhall’s Nick Peel collected Rohan’s award, comprised of a £500 cash prize, a 512 ETCnomad™ package, a one-year Moving Light Assistant software license, a one-year subscription to the Association’s PLI insurance alongside the six-month mentoring scheme with a team of industry professionals. The judges remarked that Rohan’s documentation was outstanding.

Johanna Town commented, “With the annual lighting lunch growing in such proportions, with this year being the largest gathering to date, it is an honour to award and introduce the best up-and-coming talent before the wider realm of lighting industry professionals.

The ALD Awards for Excellence not only provide an important launchpad for young would-be professionals but also provide a valuable opportunity for feedback on and improvement of a working portfolio which remains a mainstay for the acquisition of quality work in theatre.”

Steve Huttly, ALD Awards committee member and head of this year’s judging panel, commented, “Judged by a panel of eight leading practitioners, it was really hard to pick just one winner in the awards because the quality of the entries was so high. In the end, the panel believed the only fair outcome was to award a joint first prize for the Michael Northern Award for Lighting Design.”

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