The Association of Lighting Designers (ALD) has announced the winners of its prestigious Michael Northen Bursary Award at a ceremony aligned with the recent ABTT Theatre Show. The bursary is awarded annually to students or recent graduates of lighting studies in the UK who have demonstrated strong, imaginative and creative lighting design, and is bestowed in collaboration with Mousetrap Theatre Projects. It was sponsored this year by Electronic Theatre Controls and Stage Jobs Pro.
The awards were judged by a panel comprised of ALD member Lighting Designers and Industry professionals from a variety of different disciplines and backgrounds.
Mark Jonathan, Deputy Chairman of the ALD, hosted the ceremony and Lighting Designer Prema Mehta awarded The Michael Northen Bursary to Rory Beaton for his detailed and comprehensive submission. Commenting on what set him apart, the judges stated: “Rory’s subtle and clever use of colour really enhanced the mood and his approach to all his designs seemed entirely appropriate.”
The Francis Reid Award was presented to finalist Sana Yamaguchi from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, while Jai Morjaria, from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, received the ETC Award. Yamaguchi impressed with her concise presentation and with clear concepts, catching the judges’ attention with her bold use of angles and colour choices. Moriaria’s submission demonstrated a strong vision for lighting design; his unique ideas, attitude and processes throughout particularly impressed the judges.
This year’s award ceremony saw Mark Jonathan report the recent death of Francis Reid, after whom one of the awards is named. He paid tribute to the great contribution Reid had made to theatre lighting in Britain and across the world, asserting: “his memory is now celebrated in this prestigious award.”
Commenting on the high quality of 2016 award entries and winners, the ALD’s student Representative Sean Gleason confirmed: “The ALD is committed to the clear recognition of lighting as a vital creative element and these prestigious awards showcase the best talent of each year, highlighting students who understand and can articulate effective and emotive lighting design. It is our honour to present these awards and nurture these talented individuals as they shine a light on their own exciting career paths.”