Broadway Technical Giant Neil Mazzella to Receive 2013 Distinguished Achievement Award from USITT
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by Samantha Vega
USITT, the professional association for performing arts designers and technicians, annually recognizes individuals whose careers have contributed significantly to their specialty. Mazzella will be honored at USITT's 2013 Annual Conference & Stage Expo March 20?23 in Milwaukee, Wis., an event that draws over 5,000 people from the world of theatrical design and technology.
Mazzella, CEO of Hudson Scenic Studio, Hudson Sound & Light, and Hudson Theatrical Associates, has been technical supervisor for over 40 Broadway productions, including All About Me with Michael Feinstein (2010) and The Caine Mutiny Court?Martial with David Schwimmer (2006).
He co?founded Hudson Scenic with Gene O'Donovan in 1980, and the studio has since become the leading provider of custom scene fabrication, automation, and painted drops for the live entertainment industry. Its best?known project is the automation for the New Year's Eve ball drop in Times Square.
What started as a small shop with five workers now inhabits a 125,000?square? foot complex employing over 100 craftspeople. In 2004, Hudson Scenic opened a lighting and sound branch, Hudson Sound & Light, which has since merged with Christie Lites to provide sound and lighting equipment for Broadway shows including Gore Vidal's The Best Man, The Gershwin's Porgy & Bess, Mary Poppins and Bonnie & Clyde.
In 2007, Hudson expanded again, forming Hudson Theatrical Associates in Manhattan, offering technical supervision, labor supervision, and production management for theatre, industry, and live events. The company has provided technical supervision for recent Broadway hits including Jesus Christ Superstar, On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, and Hugh Jackman Back on Broadway. Mazzella received the Tony Honor Award for Excellence in Theatre in 2007.