Your Designer Identity


USITT understands that Designers and Theatre Artists span a breadth of career trajectories and self-define in a multitude of ways. None the less, for organizational purposes, the PQ23 festival groups presentations according to a country’s national designers (most often established professionals) and student designers (most often from emerging, early career designers).  

Because representation matters – and to create an inclusive submission process – USITT expands the PQ23 “student” classification into a broader realm for all Emerging Designers.  USITT feels Emerging Designer represents rising designers within five years of embracing their unique identity as a practicing visual creator in any genre of performance. This captures not only graduate and undergraduate students, but anyone who identifies as a rising designer. USITT considers National Designers to be visual creators who work in any genre of performance – but do not identify as an Emerging Designer

In your submission, you will self-select the category—Emerging Designer or National Designer—that better represents your design work. You will also be asked to note affinities you hold with any USITT Affinity Groups and Approaches to Design. Affinity Groups: AAPI; Accessible (Disability based) Performance; Black; Immigrant; Indigenous; Latinx; Hispanic; LGBTQIA+. Design Approaches: Theatre of the Oppressed – BOAL; Design as Activism; Innovation in the time of COVID (NOTE: Innovative pieces that were propelled into being because of COVID will be particularly considered.)

Individuals must self-determine whether to submit under either National Designer or Emerging Designer. Group or organization collaborations may also be submitted under either National Designer or Emerging Designer. If uncertain, though, groups or organizations may submit the design under both categories for consideration.

USITT encourages all individuals, groups, and theatre companies to submit design work that further develops static notions of who are Emerging Designers and who are National Designers. Join USITT in this discussion through your submission!