Dr Joel Rubin awarded 2009 Wally Award

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I was honored to be a part of the ceremony bestowing the 2009 Wally Award on Joel Rubin on May 26th in New York.

Joel’s award was in recognition of his lifetime of service to the theatre lighting industry as Executive Vice President of Klieg; theatre consultant, author and Founder and Past President of both the USITT and the international OISTT.

I was able to acknowledge the personal impact on me of Joel’s role as author. With Lee Watson he wrote “Theatrical Lighting Practice” while they were students at Yale in 1954. Two years later as a very young ASM in London, I picked up the book in Samuel French’s bookshop. It was a stunning revelation. The book described a profession of “Lighting Designer” in America that was then unknown in the UK.

This changed my life. From that day I determined upon becoming a lighting designer. To make that possible I began an up-start company: Theatre Projects, to rent cheap lighting equipment that hopefully would allow me to donate my design services for nothing!

The time was ripe. TP prospered. I developed an amazing team of designers that included Robert Ornbo, Bob Bryan, John. B. Read, David Hersey, Andy Bridge and many others. TP spread into production (with Harold Prince and Tony Walton) and then theatre consulting.

Fifty years later TP Consultants has been active on over 1,200 projects in 70 countries.

Thanks to the inspiration of Joel Rubin . . . and many talented peoples’ dedication and efforts.

The Wally Foundation: http://www.wallyfund.org/

Wally Russell Award

In memory of Wally Russell, entrepreneur, technical director COC and LA Opera, general manager National Ballet of Canada, head of Strand Lighting USA, Board of Varilite and Theatre Projects, who died in 1992