OPERA San Antonio, United States Institute for Theatre Technology, and Disney Live Entertainment Partner For New BIPOC Designer Fellowship

By Logan Martell

United States Institute for Theatre Technology has announced a new pilot initiative to connect professional production companies with rising BIPOC designers. The new USITT BIPOC Designer Fellowship comes in partnership with OPERA San Antonio, with support from Disney Live Entertainment.

The fellowship is currently developing a list of companies interested in collaboration, and will initiate a post-production analysis of the program to improve the experience for future participants and partnering companies.

The inaugural fellowship has brought designer Toni Sterling onto OSA’s team as Assistant Lighting Designer for their recent production of “Don Giovanni.”

“Partnering with USITT to craft, not just an observing role, not just a complimentary or short internship role, but a hands-on design and staff opportunity to a young, in this case, black designer — I think that is crucial for the industry moving forward, and I could not be more thrilled to have this opportunity within our company,” OSA General & Artistic Director E. Loren Meeker stated in a press release. “This gives us a chance to not only bring in a BIPOC designer to a lighting design position that heretofore we have not always been able to have on every production, but it also helps grow our artistic team.

“This program provides an opportunity to an up-and-coming young designer, and it helps us really lead the charge in terms of bringing diversity, not only to our casts and to our staff, but also to our creative and design teams as well.”