SUNY New Paltz Alumna, Francesca DeCicco ‘17 has been awarded the Bernhard R. Works, Frederick A. Buerki Scenic Technology Award by USITT, The Association for Performing Arts & Entertainment Professionals.
The Bernhard R. Works, Frederick A. Buerki Scenic Technology Award is a national award given by the prestigious USITT, an organization that is “the leader in life-long learning opportunities” for those of all ages in the entertainment design and technology industry.
“This is a major institution in the American theater,” said theater professor Ken Goldstein, and a past professor of DeCicco. “It’s a really big deal. It is really exciting that she was recognized by this kind of institution.”
DeCicco is currently a third-year MFA student at the Technical Design & Production Department at the Yale School of Drama and has apprenticed at The Juilliard School. DeCicco found out she received the award from an email before the winners were announced publicly and immediately went to tell her family and friends.
“I’m very humbled to receive any kind of recognition like this. It’s also a very strange thing because I don’t really post too much or like to talk about my work too much,” DeCicco said. “I’ll often downplay a lot of the stuff I do. But it also feels good to see my hard work paid off.”
Many of DeCicco’s past professors had known of her remarkable talents in technical design and are proud to see her being recognized.
Theater professor Jack Wade, who had DeCicco as a student in multiple classes, would tell her “how incredibly proud we all are of her phenomenal accomplishments and that we’ll all be watching as she becomes a heavy-hitter in our industry.”
“Francesca is always really hardworking, and really focused and really just wonderful to have around,” Goldstein said. “She was really giving of her time and her energy and her talents, really supportive of the students that were coming up behind her.”
DeCicco was known for her hard-working attitude and focus for her work while she was at SUNY New Paltz.
“You know Francesca was incredibly prolific when she was here in terms of projects that she worked on, but she also took her academics really seriously and I think that really does say a lot about many of our students but I think it’s an important thing to remember that she also took everything else really seriously, too,” Goldstein said.
DeCicco also mentioned the importance of trying new things to figure out where you want to go and what you want to do.
“I always say try new things all the time. I took a set design class and I did enjoy it, but I knew that’s not what I want to do,”DeCicco said. “[But] I took a shop class and that’s what kind of really got me into where I am today and it gauged my interest a lot. I wanted to keep working in the shop but I didn’t know that was what I wanted to do [but] the more I did it, the more I realized that it was what I wanted. So, try new things, be open to trying new things and be open to changing paths.”