Knowlton Student Part of Winning Team in National Theatre Design Competition


Evan Bunner, an undergraduate City and Regional Planning student at the Knowlton School, was part of an Ohio State team what won first place in the Student/Consultant Theatre Renovation Challenge 2014 competition, sponsored by the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) and the American Society of Theatre Consultants (ASTC). The competition asked student team members and ASTC member theater consultants in their areas to:

“(S)elect a space on the students’ campus as the subject of a theoretical renovation. The student/consultant team will tour the selected space, study and discuss the existing conditions and current use. Through a collaborative and interactive process, the students and consultant will develop a plan for the potential renovation of the subject space for an actual or fictitious performing arts program of the team’s choice. The conceptual renovation plan may focus on any aspects of the space to achieve a specific objective or objectives.”

Working with theater consultant Paul Sanow and Brad Steinmetz, Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre, Bunner and three students from the Theater Department (Andy Baker, MFA-Lighting Design; Shane Cinal, MFA-Scenic Design; Josh Quinlan, MFA-Scenic Design) explored potential uses for Drake Union. As described in the Theater Department’s press release about the winning entry:

“(T)he OSU team designed a robust, flexible theatre space in the underutilized northwest corner of the Drake Performance and Event Center. The black-box style theatre would complement the existing thrust and proscenium theatres in the building and support the department’s Lab Series initiative, an ambitious season of student-created productions.

“The new venue would tie directly into the existing spacious lobby overlooking the Olentangy River. The design provides dressing rooms, a green area, storage, and a modest workshop space.  It also doubles the height of the existing rooms to create a catwalk and a movable lighting grid in the performance area. The design also incorporates the new venue into the surrounding landscape and riverside trails with a wrap-around balcony and a tiered outdoor lounge and amphitheatre.”

Bunner and other team members traveled to Fort Worth, Texas in late march to present their proposal at the annual USITT 2014 Annual Conference. As the winning entry, the Ohio State team received a $750 cash award.

For more information, see the ASTC USITT Student/Consultant Theatre Renovation Challenge 2014 website.