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Stage Tech Gold Medals Happen in Threes for Emerson Team

Emerson students at the USITT Conference in St. Louis. Front row, left to right, Rachel Lockett, Marta Sarrión Arrúe, Emily Cuerdon, and Taylor Starr. Back row, left to right, Jamie Carty, Jon Wyand, Jessica Kemp, Connor O'Leary, Daniel Johnson-Carter, Maddie Friedman, Samantha Landau. Courtesy photo

For the third year in a row, the Emerson College Greene Beans took home the gold from the U.S. Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) Tech Olympics, held March 10 in St. Louis.

Eight Performing Arts students tackled a range of theater tech categories, including stage management, props, knot-tying, lighting hang and focus, sound set-up, rigging, and costume change.

In the end, seniors Emily Cuerdon, Junior Johnson, Connor O’Leary, Marta Sarrión Arrúe, and Taylor Starr; and juniors Mitchell Girgasky, Daniel Johnson-Carter, and Jon Wyand came out with the most points, and the Tech Olympics gold medal hat trick (to mix sports metaphors).

The number of competitors in the 2017 event were not immediately posted, but in 2016, 122 technicians from colleges and universities around the country vied for prizes.

Wyand — who was named top individual technician, shared first place in stage management with Starr, and took second place in sound set-up — said that while the Greene Beans (named for Emerson’s Greene Theater) practiced a bit before last year’s competition in Salt Lake City, this year the team decided to skip the training.

“We didn’t do any real practice beforehand,” Wyand said. “We were definitely proud of ourselves.”

He said he thinks the key to being a three-time winner is Emerson’s quality program and the students’ willingness to relax and have fun.

“We joke around and say that we kind of just show up and do our job, but I think it’s true,” he said. “We practice these things in our education so much that when we go to do them in competition, [it comes naturally].”

Girgasky was runner up for top technician, and took second place in knots. He and Johnson-Carter came in second for lighting hang and focus.

Other Emerson students who attended the USITT Conference March 8-11 were seniors Jamie Carty and Jessica Kemp, and juniors Maddie Friedman, Samantha Landau, and Rachel Lockett.



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