AAPEX "White Rabbit" Award for Theatrical Design goes to Paula J. Riley and Coni Koepfinger — AAPEX Awards , Coni Koepfinger , Paula J Riley — AAPEX

Saturday, July 28, 2012

AAPEX "White Rabbit" Award for Theatrical Design goes to Paula J. Riley and Coni Koepfinger

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If you are young and looking to embark on a career in the theatre, then this is what I wish for you - that you should have a mentor as awesome as the one the universe sent me almost 40 years ago, a remarkable theatrical designer named Richard Thomas Pike.

Rick was the white rabbit who enticed me down the rabbit hole of the American theatre.

As I enter my latter years and look back over my accomplishments, I realize that the true secret of my success really lies in one place, and that is my mentor's wisdom - and now that I have lived long enough to understand that, it is my duty to pass it on. As with all brilliance, it mystifies into a single premise. Unfortunately it's my trade secret, so I can't share it with you.

Another artist who is on this journey is NYC based Paula J. Riley, artistic director of The Spiral Theatre, whose mission lies in the teachings and art of her mentor, Iza Itkin. Paula wants Iza and her work to be not only remembered but engaged and utilized by the theatre of the future and I don't blame her: from the moment I saw the idea for a stage that is at the core of the spiral, I wanted one for myself, and there are very few things any more that I actually want to possess.

In the best theatre, it is the set designer who is our white rabbit, careening us into the world of the play. Paula J. Riley knows that and I 'spect she learned to know that from Itkin. Therefore it is my pleasure to recognize Paula and Iza and Paula's partner, Coni Koepfinger, with the first AAPEX "White Rabbit" Award for Theatrical Design.

Jaz Dorsey,
AAPEX Founder and Dramaturg

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