John Spiegel Theatrical Artist Award

About the Award

The John Spiegel Theatrical Artist Award is presented annually to a student pursuing a degree or certificate in one of the following areas: lighting design, properties design, scenic design, sound design, or technical direction.

Announcing the 2019 Spiegel Theatrical Artist

Congratulations, Alice Trent!

Alice Trent is a 3rd year lighting design graduate candidate at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Originally from Cincinnati, OH, she attended Xavier University where she received her BA in Theatre. She’s designed for theatre companies in Cincinnati; Asheville, NC; Cleveland, TN; Chattanooga, TN; Bay View, MI; and Knoxville, TN. She’s worked as an assistant lighting designer at the Cleveland Play House, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, and Town Hall Arts Center of Denver. She was recently awarded the 2019 USITT Lighting Design Award sponsored by the Barbizon Lighting Company and was admitted into the 2019 USITT Young Designers Forum. Receiving the 2019 Spiegel Theatrical Artist Award is such a wonderful honor, and she’s so grateful to SETC for recognizing her.

The 2019 Spiegel Theatrical Artist Will Receive:

  • $1,000 for tools and/or supplies that will aid in the study of their craft, e.g. software and external hardware, paint and paintbrushes, microphones or audio recording equipment, hand or power tools, etc.
  • Free one-year membership to SETC
  • Free registration for the 2019 SETC Convention
  • Automatic entrance into the 2019 SETC Design Competition
  • Design portfolio showcased at the 2019 SETC Convention in the Design/Tech Exhibition Hall
  • Three-night hotel stay during Convention, arranged and provided by SETC
  • One ticket to the SETC Awards Banquet at Convention, where award recipients will be recognized
  • Photo and bio recognition on the SETC website

Eligibility Requirements

Candidates must meet each of these qualifications to be eligible for this award:

  • You must submit a complete application packet (see details below) by the application deadline.
  • You must be enrolled in a program of study (undergraduate or graduate) in one of the following areas at an accredited institution:
    • lighting design
    • properties design
    • scenic design
    • sound design
    • technical direction
    • projection design
  • Through the application materials submitted, you must demonstrate:
    • a commitment to the field and to your own growth as a theatre artist
    • both ability and great potential in your area of focus

How to Apply

Submit the following materials to by Nov. 17, 2018:

  • Completed Application Form
  • Personal letter outlining plans and objectives for current study and future career
  • A complete resume
  • Three reference letters speaking specifically to the applicant’s potential in one of the design areas named above or in technical direction
  • Proof of enrollment in an accredited program
  • Complete, official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
  • Portfolio of work will include but may not be limited to:
    • Lighting designers please include: Research documentation, production images and any related paper work (Lighting Plot, Lighting Sectional, Ground Plan, ect.)
    • Properties designers please include: Research documentation, images that show the creation and or creative process as well as images of the finished product
    • Scenic designers please include: Research documentation, Production Images, Working Drawings and Sketches, as well as any items that reflect the production
    • Sound designers please include: Research Documentation, Production Images, Audio Samples, Cue Sheets
    • Technical Directors please include: Packet of Technical Drawings, Building Process Images, Production Images

Please Note: It is recommended that you submit all materials in a single, multi-page PDF document. It is understood that certain files may exceed size limits for emailing and in those cases a link through or Google docs may be provided.

Past Winners:

Jo Sanburg

Jo Sanburg ~ 2018 Spiegel Theatrical Artist

Receiving the Spiegel Award was not only a huge honor, but also opened doors and created connections withing the greater theatrical community, facilitating relationships and engaging conversation. The award funds are set aside for professional software and hardware that will make me a more effective designer. I cannot thank John Spiegel and SETC enough for this recognition. And a special thank you to those mentors and colleagues who helped me reach this goal.

Maranda DeBusk ~ 2017 Spiegel Theatrical Artist

It was an absolute honor to receive the first John Spiegel Theatrical Artist Award in 2017. The application process gave me the nudge to take a closer look at how I wanted to present myself and my work as I approached my graduation. It was a joy to be able to attend the conference and meet so many talented and interesting people, some of whom have become my collaborators. The scholarship funds are offsetting the cost of software so that I can take the leap from “Educational Version” to “Professional License” as I launch my career. My sincerest gratitude goes out to those who made this scholarship possible.