Lighting Legend Sonnenfeld to be Honoured at USITT 2016

USITT Fellow and legendary lighting consultant Sonny Sonnenfeld will receive USITT’s 2016 Distinguished Achievement Award in Lighting Design and Technology. Sonnenfeld joins the ranks of four other backstage luminaries to be honoured at USITT 2016 in Salt Lake City 16th - 19th March.

Sonnenfeld’s career in lighting spans more than 60 years, since he joined the 92nd Street Y as technical director in 1940. After serving in the army during World War II, he became New York City sales manager for Century Lighting – now Strand – for 16 years.

He went on to become a consultant for architectural and theatre lighting, working for ETC and City Theatrical, and founded the Broadway Lighting Master Classes, a four-day lighting seminar, with his friend lighting designer Jules Fisher.

Sonnenfeld taught architectural lighting at the Pratt Institute and founded the New York Area Regional Section of USITT. He is a past president of the Illuminating Engineering Society’s New York Chapter and has authored many articles on lighting design.

He has been involved in USITT, the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, since its beginning in 1960, and called it: “My continuing education programme.” He was inducted as a USITT Fellow in 1997. In 2001, Architectural Lighting Magazine named him to its Lighting Hall of Fame.

Four other 2016 USITT Distinguished Achievers were announced earlier this year: UK sound designer John Leonard, Broadway scene designer Anna Louizos, costume designer/author/educator Joy Spanabel Emery and arts safety and health expert Monona Rossol.

All will be honoured with special sessions on their work at USITT’s Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Salt Lake, and will participate in the popular panel, USITT Distinguished Achievers in Conversation on Friday 18th March.

USITT 2016 is expected to draw 5,000 people and 280 industry exhibitors to Salt Lake for more than 250 workshops, presentations, demonstrations, and the latest in entertainment technology. To register or for info, visit