By Erika Pokrivsak
SC Contributing Writer
Associate professor of theatre at East Stroudsburg University Yoshinori Tanokura was recently awarded a Carbonell Award for his design for the play, Peter and the Starcatcher.
The play was produced by the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and the University of Miami.
The Carbonell Awards, which celebrate the diversity of theatre artists, provide educational scholarships, and build appreciation from the audience, have been given for nearly 40 years.
More than 25 professional theatre companies participate in the awards, including those in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. Tanokura’s artistry can be seen in ESU’s production of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which will run from April 22-26.
This adds to his list of set designs and costumes he has done for ESU since becoming a member of the faculty in 2009, which includes the recent productions of Seussical and Eurydice, as well as The Wizard of Oz, Spike Heels, Lord of the Flies, Top Girls, The Goat, or Who is Syliva?, The Diary of Anne Frank, Closer, A Christmas Carol, Sold, Blithe Spirit, Electra, One Thousand Cranes, As You Like It, Polaroid Stories, Dandelion, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Savage in Limbo, and The Hobbit.
Tanokura, who earned a B.F.A. from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, an M.F.A. from the University of Connecticut, and an M.A. from Central St. Martins College of Art and Design in London, England, is also teaching courses in scene painting, play production, and an online “Intrduction to Theatre” course this semester.
Before he began teaching at ESU, Tanokura assisted Broadway and New York City Opera designers John Lee Beatty and Donald Eastman. Productions he assisted the designers with include the national tour of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Color Purple, and Margaret Garner.
He also served on various corporate design projects as a sketch artist and model maker, including the Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN studios, and GM auto shows.
Clever Little Secret of the George Street Playhouse by Joe DiPietro, Stargirl (People’s Light & Theatre Co.), which was adapted from the acclaimed novel by Jerry Spinelli, Exonerated of the Delaware Theatre Company, and Pride and Prejudice of the People’s Light & Theatre Co., are a few recent professional productions in which Tanokura’s work and design was featured.
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