Crossroads News

Crossroads Drama Teacher Nick Santiago Wins Ovation Award

Work for local theater productions informs his teaching practice at Crossroads.
Upper School Drama Teacher Nick Santiago has won his first LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award for Video Design. Judged by his peers in the Los Angeles area, Nick’s work for “Cost of Living”—the Pulitzer Prize-winning play written by Martyna Majok and directed by John Vreek at the Fountain Theatre in the fall of 2019—was determined the best of the year.
For this production of “Cost of Living,” which reconsiders the distinctions between being physically abled and disabled, Nick looked beyond the script for inspiration. He used LED screens to convey both setting and the characters’ financial, emotional and physical states. “I look at the video design as another character in the play,” explains Nick. “I am always interested in the story the video is telling and how it contributes as a character.”
In the 10 years since he first began working at Crossroads, Nick has designed more than 100 productions at local theaters, including Rogue Machine Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse, Boston Court Pasadena and Skylight Theatre, to name a few. He has received one previous Ovation Award nomination and several nominations for the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards and the Stage Raw Theater Awards.
“All this outside exposure to theater really helps me to bring new and fresh experiences and content to my students here at Crossroads,” says Nick, who has taught classes in designing sets, costumes, theatrical makeup, lighting and video as part of the Upper School’s two-year Drama Conservatory program.
Nick is particularly excited for the opportunities that will become available upon completion of the forthcoming center for performing arts: “With the move into a new space, I am hoping to build the design program up even more. I have found my voice in theater through design, and I am hoping to extend that passion and opportunity to more students here at Crossroads.”
The Crossroads community can see Nick and his current students’ innovative designs at the upcoming production of “Urinetown,” Friday-Sunday, Feb. 21-23, and Friday-Sunday, Feb. 28-March 1.