/ Live at Purchase
APR 18 | Backstage Legends & Masters: Pete Feller, Sr.
Fifth Annual Backstage Legends and Masters Award
Honors the Memory of Pete Feller, Sr.
Monday, April 18, 2016 / 7 pm
The Performing Arts Center
Purchase College’s own Broadway Technical Theatre History Project will honor the memory of Broadway technical theater legend, Pete Feller, Sr. when it presents his family with the esteemed Backstage Legends and Masters Award.
As the founder of one of the premier scenic construction shops of its time, Feller Scenery, Feller (1919-1998) was not only responsible for building a host of Broadway productions, he also trained and inspired an entire generation of shop owners including Jere Harris, Fred Gallo, Bill Mensching, Gene O’Donovan, and Gary Raussenberger.
Feller also significantly influenced the development and use of electronically controlled automation in productions and helped redefine how scene shops operate, ushering in a streamlined process which consolidates various trades under one roof.
Feller’s landmark shows included: Fiddler on the Roof, Follies, Company, and Sweeney Todd. In 1984, he received a Tony for lifetime achievement in the theater.
“It’s hard to imagine the existence of an award like this without recognizing Pete Feller, Sr. His role in the world of Broadway theatre is so extraordinary, and continues to influence so much of what is going on today that this was an obvious choice,” says Dan Hanessian, associate professor at Purchase, who launched the Broadway Technical Theatre History Project in 2011. “To say that Feller is a critical piece of the history of technical theatre doesn’t even begin to capture the importance he played and the influence he still has today.” Hanessian trains up-and-coming technical directors and production managers in the Design/Technology Program of the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Purchase.
About the Backstage Legends and Masters & the Broadway Technical Theatre History Project
Backstage Legends and Masters, founded by Hanessian, is an annual public presentation spotlighting individuals who have been central to the realization of Broadway productions for many years, but are not typically provided recognition through the Tony or Drama Desk awards. Each year, an individual is selected by a panel of distinguished professionals who represent a variety of Broadway production specialties. “The goal of the Broadway Technical Theatre History Project is to create a living history of the shops and technical personnel who have played a role in the realization of Broadway productions,” Hanessian explains.