In the spotlight

Amy Richards has gone from behind-the-scenes to in the spotlight. The 2010 Lycoming graduate is the recipient of a Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Region II Award for Excellence in Lighting Design for her work on Lycoming's 2009 spring production of William Shakespeare's classic play "A Midsummer Night's Dream." The festival included competitors from schools in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio.

Richards' design was critiqued at the festival by a lighting designer, stage manager, set designer and costume designer. She was then given feedback on her design and overall presentation, which included a concept statement, sketches, photos and research. Richards says the judges were most interested in the process, including how she went from her original concept to the final visual product.

"The festival is a great opportunity," said Richards. "It was very exciting to have a professional lighting designer looking over my work and pointing me in the right direction. It's a great honor to be selected for the award and represent Lycoming College."

A native of Clinton, N.J., Richards majored in French and worked in the theatre department on set construction. She also was a member of the choir, tour choir and Club Franco.

"I am very much a hands-on type of person," says Richards. "It's been wonderful working in the theatre department. Because it's small, there are a lot of opportunities if you are willing to put yourself out there. And I have been given some great opportunities."

In April, Richards was accepted into the Teaching Assistant Program in France, which gives students the opportunity to expand their cultural horizons and share their language and culture with French students. From October through April, she'll work in the region of Brittany, near the city of Nantes.

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