Akeem Celestine
Schenectady, NY
Theatre major
Class of 2016

Theatre major selected to attend national program

SUNY Oneonta theatre major Akeem Celestine of Schenectady, NY, was one of 12 young artists from across the country selected for the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) Gateway mentorship program.

The Gateway Program is part of USITT's Diversity and Inclusion Initiative to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion in the backstage arts. It paired 12 emerging artists with professional mentors from similar backgrounds and career paths at the USITT Conference & Stage Expo in Salt Lake City, Utah, from March 16-19.

Department of Theatre Chair Patrice Macaluso nominated Celestine for the program. “This was the perfect chance for Akeem to learn more about the breadth and scope of the opportunities available in the professional world of entertainment design and management,” she said.

Celestine came to Oneonta as a biology major, but soon changed to theater. Over the past three years, he has been involved as a stage manager, costume designer or actor in several shows, including the upcoming musical “Avenue Q,” pictured above.

Of course I want to be on Broadway. Who doesn't?

Best parts of the experience

During the five-day conference, Celestine met with production managers, attended mock interviews, checked out the expo floor, and took in the beautiful mountainous scenery. Each student was assigned a mentor, and Celestine was paired with Rafael Jaen, a well-known name in the costuming business. Jaen is even a friend of one of Celestine’s idols, Gregg Barnes, who costume-designed for Broadway shows such as “Legally Blonde” and “Kinky Boots.”

Celestine said the highlight of the trip was seeing a large period dress next to a smaller version in the costume section of the expo. The scaled-down version was created because the dress was so big that eight people could not fit in the room with it during the design process.

Overall, the conference was an eye-opening experience, helping Celestine learn not just career-building tactics, but about himself as a person. “I’m more of an introvert than I thought I would be, and I also learned that that’s not a bad thing,” he said. “When I’m in a group of costume designers, then I usually take charge. But if I’m in a group with set designers or stage managers, I stand back and listen. If they need an opinion on a costume I can speak up.”

Dreams, goals, plans

With only a few weeks left until graduation, Celestine is getting ready to attend University of Iowa for graduate studies in costume designing construction.  In the future, he hopes to be a costume designer for a regional theatre, but his dreams don’t stop there. “Of course I want to be on Broadway. Who doesn’t?”

At left: Akeem created this costme for his grad school interview.

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Akeem Celestine
Schenectady, NY
Theatre major
Class of 2016

Theatre major selected to attend national program

SUNY Oneonta theatre major Akeem Celestine of Schenectady, NY, was one of 12 young artists from across the country selected for the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) Gateway mentorship program.

The Gateway Program is part of USITT's Diversity and Inclusion Initiative to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion in the backstage arts. It paired 12 emerging artists with professional mentors from similar backgrounds and career paths at the USITT Conference & Stage Expo in Salt Lake City, Utah, from March 16-19.

Department of Theatre Chair Patrice Macaluso nominated Celestine for the program. “This was the perfect chance for Akeem to learn more about the breadth and scope of the opportunities available in the professional world of entertainment design and management,” she said.

Celestine came to Oneonta as a biology major, but soon changed to theater. Over the past three years, he has been involved as a stage manager, costume designer or actor in several shows, including the upcoming musical “Avenue Q,” pictured above.

Of course I want to be on Broadway. Who doesn't?

Best parts of the experience

During the five-day conference, Celestine met with production managers, attended mock interviews, checked out the expo floor, and took in the beautiful mountainous scenery. Each student was assigned a mentor, and Celestine was paired with Rafael Jaen, a well-known name in the costuming business. Jaen is even a friend of one of Celestine’s idols, Gregg Barnes, who costume-designed for Broadway shows such as “Legally Blonde” and “Kinky Boots.”

Celestine said the highlight of the trip was seeing a large period dress next to a smaller version in the costume section of the expo. The scaled-down version was created because the dress was so big that eight people could not fit in the room with it during the design process.

Overall, the conference was an eye-opening experience, helping Celestine learn not just career-building tactics, but about himself as a person. “I’m more of an introvert than I thought I would be, and I also learned that that’s not a bad thing,” he said. “When I’m in a group of costume designers, then I usually take charge. But if I’m in a group with set designers or stage managers, I stand back and listen. If they need an opinion on a costume I can speak up.”

Dreams, goals, plans

With only a few weeks left until graduation, Celestine is getting ready to attend University of Iowa for graduate studies in costume designing construction.  In the future, he hopes to be a costume designer for a regional theatre, but his dreams don’t stop there. “Of course I want to be on Broadway. Who doesn’t?”

At left: Akeem created this costme for his grad school interview.


A&H Student Spotlight

Akeem Celestine
Schenectady, NY
Theatre major
Class of 2016

Theatre major selected to attend national program

SUNY Oneonta theatre major Akeem Celestine of Schenectady, NY, was one of 12 young artists from across the country selected for the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) Gateway mentorship program.

The Gateway Program is part of USITT's Diversity and Inclusion Initiative to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion in the backstage arts. It paired 12 emerging artists with professional mentors from similar backgrounds and career paths at the USITT Conference & Stage Expo in Salt Lake City, Utah, from March 16-19.

Department of Theatre Chair Patrice Macaluso nominated Celestine for the program. “This was the perfect chance for Akeem to learn more about the breadth and scope of the opportunities available in the professional world of entertainment design and management,” she said.

Celestine came to Oneonta as a biology major, but soon changed to theater. Over the past three years, he has been involved as a stage manager, costume designer or actor in several shows, including the upcoming musical “Avenue Q,” pictured above.

Of course I want to be on Broadway. Who doesn't?

Best parts of the experience

During the five-day conference, Celestine met with production managers, attended mock interviews, checked out the expo floor, and took in the beautiful mountainous scenery. Each student was assigned a mentor, and Celestine was paired with Rafael Jaen, a well-known name in the costuming business. Jaen is even a friend of one of Celestine’s idols, Gregg Barnes, who costume-designed for Broadway shows such as “Legally Blonde” and “Kinky Boots.”

Celestine said the highlight of the trip was seeing a large period dress next to a smaller version in the costume section of the expo. The scaled-down version was created because the dress was so big that eight people could not fit in the room with it during the design process.

Overall, the conference was an eye-opening experience, helping Celestine learn not just career-building tactics, but about himself as a person. “I’m more of an introvert than I thought I would be, and I also learned that that’s not a bad thing,” he said. “When I’m in a group of costume designers, then I usually take charge. But if I’m in a group with set designers or stage managers, I stand back and listen. If they need an opinion on a costume I can speak up.”

Dreams, goals, plans

With only a few weeks left until graduation, Celestine is getting ready to attend University of Iowa for graduate studies in costume designing construction.  In the future, he hopes to be a costume designer for a regional theatre, but his dreams don’t stop there. “Of course I want to be on Broadway. Who doesn’t?”

At left: Akeem created this costme for his grad school interview.

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