October 2010

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October 2010

News From:

Around the Institute

Foster Wins 2010 Gottelier Award

Congratulations to Fred Foster, chief executive officer of ETC (Electronic Theatre Controls, Inc.), Fellow of USITT, and one of the best known designers and developers in the industry who was named the fourth winner of the prestigious Gottelier Award, presented at the PLASA Awards for Innovation at Earls Court as part of PLASA 2010.

Mr. Foster started ETC in 1975 with the goal of installing the first memory lighting-control system in the New York Metropolitan Opera House. During his time he has developed a wide range of innovative products including Mega-Cue, perhaps the first console to utilize digital multiplexed data over two conductors between the desk and dimmers; the Concept console that led to the Expression/Express line of control desks; the Obsession Console and the Sensor Dimming System.

He contributed to the design of the Eos, Congo, and Ion desks and led the commercialization of what became the Source Four family of spotlights. He was also a member of the USITT panel that defined what became the DMX-512 protocol.

The Gottelier Award (named in honor of the late designer, developer and commentator Tony Gottelier) aims to recognize product developers who have made a significant and sustained contribution to the development of the equipment and tools that enable entertainment technology practitioners to continually push the boundaries of event production, presentation, and installation.

This was the fourth year this unique individual accolade has been presented at the PLASA Show.

Byrnes Presents Keynote in China

Bill Byrnes, USITT Past-President, presented the keynote address at a national conference hosted by the China Arts Administration Education Association in Beijing, China, September 17 to 20. The conference papers and presentations were focused on the topic of "the cultivation of high-level arts administration talent." He stayed for two more days and presented workshops at the Beijing Dance Academy on arts planning and organizational leadership. This is his third trip to China since 2009. He has made arts management presentations at Renmin University in Beijing and at Hunan Normal University in Changsha.

Moves to Sunny California

Congratulations to R. Michael Gros, a member of USITT’s Board of Directors, on his recent move to California where he will be resident director/associate professor at Santa Barbara City College.

Alice’s Restaurant Riders’ Final 2010 Destination

The Long Reach Long Riders (LRLR) completed its seventh annual charity motorcycle ride on July 31 at Alice's Restaurant in Woodside, California. The ride, which began at The Presidio in San Francisco, raised over $38,000 for The ESTA Foundation's Behind the Scenes Program and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The LRLR have raised over $250,000 since starting their charity rides in 2004.

Alice’s Restaurant Riders’ Final 2010 DestinationNext year the ride will start in Billings, Montana and wind through some of the most scenic National Parks in the country before returning to Billings. The following year (2012) will find the LRLR enjoying the lakes and forests of the upper Midwest.

For more information on making a donation, joining a future ride, or sponsoring a rider, visit www.lrlr.org.

Advanced Entertainment Technology Acquires Tru Roll

Advanced Entertainment Technology has announced the acquisition of Tru Roll, a manufacturer of theatrical rigging, track, hardware and drapery for over 60 years. In addition, Ralph Cichetti has joined the staff as vice president of Tru Roll sales, marketing, and production. AET specializes in show action equipment, show effects, show control, automated scenery and props, and ride safety. Visit at www.truroll.com. or www.aetfx.com.

FocusTrack System Used in Edinburgh Festival

FocusTrack, the production lighting documentation system, is already in use on some of the biggest theatre shows in the world - but it is by no means limited to huge shows, as shown by its recent use to document Roadkill, one of the hits at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

This harrowing play, directed by Cora Bissett and designed by Jessica Brettle, featured “evocative mood lighting” designed by Paul Sorley.

Further information about FocusTrack and the many shows already using it can be found at the FocusTrack website, www.FocusTrack.co.uk.