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About me

6 year old Trent Pcenicni

           My passion for the performing arts started at an early age; playing dress-up was always my favorite activity. In a well-meaning (though somewhat embarrassing) scrapbook of my mother's, we find a picture of me in my first costume: Santa Claus. By age six I had discovered my mother’s glue gun, which I promptly put to use by affixing cotton to my new red sweatshirt—to mother’s great distress. More cotton was fashioned into St. Nick’s iconic beard—theatre was a natural fit. The idea of becoming another person was an irresistible draw. It was during my early life as an actor that I became involved in the production aspects of theatre. From that developed a passion for design—costumes, scenery, wigs, and makeup—everything interested me.        

            In those early days, I discovered the transformative quality of the performing arts. One could not only entertain, but evoke thought and, in some cases, inspire change. Theatre provided me with an escape from the mundane, but more importantly, it was the outlet I needed for my creative energy. Through all of this, I came to realize that creation is the purpose of my life. I cannot deny the strong influence of my father, a self-taught engineer whose drive to create is undeniable. Though he does not work in any of the traditional artistic mediums, his creations are as inspirational to me as that of any other artist. He fostered in me the love of making something with your own hands, a physical manifestation of your inner self. These principles of self-education and self-determination were, and are, the elements that inform every decision I make as an artist.

            I see the challenges that I face as a designer as opportunities to find creative solutions. Though experienced and comfortable designing in many styles and mediums, I am often sought after to work on extremely unique and stylized productions, a challenge which I gladly accept. Whether it is building puppets for Avenue Q, pop-up wigs for Hairspray, or soldering 900 LEDs onto Ursula's tentacles for The Little Mermaid, no project is too big or small. 

          On rare occasions, I have had the chance to design multiple aspects of a production. This Production Design experience is exhausting yet rewarding, both for me as the designer and for the production itself; designing the graphics, masks, puppets, costumes, hair, makeup, scenery, and lighting give a production a sense of unity that can otherwise be difficult to achieve.

          Theatrical design has never been my only interest or talent. I also have a passion for historical and anthropological research, especially as it applies to comparative religion. My goal is to balance my life by not only designing, but executing research, developing new methods of production, and educating young artists.

          From my first humble Santa suit to the present day, I have never doubted the path I was on. Each project presents me with opportunities to innovate, and each student renews in me the passion for discovery planted within me long ago.

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