Hilberry MFA Costume Designer Anne Suchyta Awarded National Prize

Detroit, MI – Wayne State University Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance is proud to congratulate third-year graduate student Anne Suchyta on winning the Roesebrand® Action Design Competition award for Best Costume Design at the recent 2015 USITT Conference. The United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) is a national service organization committed to promoting and advancing the fields of entertainment design and technology.

Anne is in her third and final year as a MFA (Master of Fine Arts) costume designer with the Hilberry Theatre Company and studies under the direction of John Woodland, area head for MFA costume design at Wayne State University.  Anne’s WSU design credits include Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning, Juliet), Big Love, In the Red and Brown Water, Noises Off, and The Way of the World, recently recorded for inclusion in the NY Public Library’s Theatre on Film and Tape Archive at Lincoln Center.

Asked about her experience at USITT, Anne says, “I had a great time participating in the Action Design Competition. I enjoyed collaborating with students from various backgrounds and racing against the clock to create something beautiful.”

The Action Design Competition challenges participants to create the best scenic environment with limited supplies and time. Designers from across the nation are assembled into teams of four and awards are given to the best overall group design and individual awards are given for each specialization (lighting design, scenic design, costume design, and technical direction). Anne’s quick-thinking ingenuity earned her the individual prize for best costume design.

Anne’s teacher and supervisor, John Woodland, was not surprised with Anne’s win, “We were terribly pleased that Anne Suchyta  and her classmate, Mary Gietzen, and were selected to be two of the four finalists in the 2015 Rosebrand® USITT Action Design Competition. We were even more excited that Anne was the winner of the competition. Over the past three years, Anne has really developed as a creative artist through many sleepless nights working on costume renderings and developing her vast talents in stitching in the costume shop. It is really great to know that our students can compete on a national competitive level, but that can also lead the others in that forum.”

John Wolf, Chair of the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance said, “Anne’s award is a great honor that illustrates the exceptional talent in the Hilberry company. Congratulations, Anne!”


Hilberry has a ball with a zany Restoration comedy

By John Monaghan, Special to the Detroit Free Press. Read the full article on the Free Press website, here.

From left: Sarah Hawkins Moan, Annie Keris, Santino Craven and Bevin Bell-Hall in Hilberry Theatre’s production of “The Way of the World.” (Photo: Bruce Giffin)

From left: Sarah Hawkins Moan, Annie Keris, Santino Craven and Bevin Bell-Hall in Hilberry Theatre’s production of “The Way of the World.”
(Photo: Bruce Giffin)

With so many local theater companies adopting a less-is-more policy of doing shows that call for just one or two actors and minimal sets, it’s a treat to take in Hilberry Theatre’s production of “The Way of the World.” The Restoration-era comedy by William Congreve, first performed in 1700, offers lavish settings, two intermissions and enough witty banter to fill another three plays.

With that said, the play can be a bit of a challenge, especially when keeping track of the complicated plot. At its core, “World” is about putting one over on vain dowager Lady Wishfort (Bevin Bell-Hall), whose blessing is required if Mirabell (Kyle Mitchell Johnson) and Millamant (Annie Keris), her niece, are going to marry. They are linked by an unconventional (you might even say unromantic) view of romance.

What follows is an elaborate scheme that involves friends, relatives and servants whose names are nearly as absurd as their characters. Some, like the servants Foible and Waitwell (Devri Chism and Michael Phillip Thomas), are in on the plan, while others have private agendas.

Read the full article on the Free Press website, here.

Contact John Monaghan: madjohn@earthlink.net

‘The Way of the World’

Three stars

out of four stars

In repertory through March 7

Hilberry Theatre

4743 Cass, Detroit




Production will be recorded for posterity

Despite its standing as a textbook example of Restoration comedy, “The Way of the World” has no recorded representation at the Theatre on Film and Tape Archive in New York City. That will be corrected when cameras roll during one of the final performances of the Hilberry production in early March.

“I can’t remember if we contacted them or they contacted us,” says Maxwell Bolton, marketing manager at the Hilberry, Wayne State University’s graduate theater program. “But they didn’t have the play in their collection, probably because it is so rarely performed.”

Bolton says a three-camera setup will be used to capture the William Congreve comedy. Once it’s edited, the production will be available for viewing by appointment at the archive in Lincoln Center. The program, a part of the New York Public Library, has been recording significant theatrical works, including full performances and artist interviews, since 1970.

“We’re obviously proud of the show,” says Bolton, “and even more proud that it will soon be a part of theater history.”