December 2010

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December 2010

News & Notices:


Member Author Program

Members who have had (or will have) a book published in 2010 are encouraged to participate in the Member Author Program. Books in this program are sold at the USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo as well as through USITT’s bookstore for one year. Additionally, authors are invited to be part of a book signing during the conference.Send title and publisher to to be included in this great member benefit.

Need Conference Catering?

USITT offers a wide variety of food and beverages for all types of events at the 2011 Annual Conference & Stage Expo. Catered functions are easy to arrange; just contact Tracy Davis at the USITT office at 800-938-7488, extension 105, or e-mail She will provide menus and coordinate catering orders with Conference hotels and the Charlotte Convention Center.

FCC Frees Up Vacant Airwaves

The Federal Communications Commission recently took steps to free up vacant airwaves between TV channels -- called “white spaces” -- to unleash a host of new technologies such as “super Wi-Fi.” Click here for a complete copy of the “Second Memorandum Opinion and Order."

This is the first significant block of spectrum made available for unlicensed use in more than 20 years. TV white space spectrum is considered prime real estate because its signals travel well making it ideally suited for mobile wireless devices. It also requires wireless microphone users who seek to register in the TV bands databases to certify that they will use all available channels from 7 through 51 prior to requesting registration. Requests to register in the database will bepublic, thus allowing interested parties to weigh in on any given request.

For further information, contact Hugh L. Van Tuyl (202-418-7506;, or Alan Stillwell (202-418-2470;

December 7 Deadline for Student Travel Award

Student International Travel Award applications are due December 7 for the award period of March 2011 to March 2012.

Eligible projects may be developed from a wide variety of theatre topics, and priority will be given to PQ-based projects this year. One award winner will be selected, and the award will be presented at the Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Charlotte, North Carolina in March (Attendance required to receive the award). Click here for more information.

The USITT Student International Travel Award offers biennial support to students seeking funding for theatre design, technology, and research related international travel. The award amount, $1,000, is supported by the Samuel H. Scripps International Fund, and is available through the USITT International Committee.

App Revenues Support Those in Crisis

When ETC developed the iRFR application -- which turns any iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch into a remote controller for ETC lighting consoles -- the intent was to provide convenient and affordable facility-wide lighting control to venues around the world. The iRFR has accomplished much more than that. All the proceeds from purchases of the iRFR app are donated to Behind the Scenes and Light Relief, organizations that provide emergency funds to entertainment-technology industry professionals dealing with illness or injury.

In the year and a half since it became available, the iRFR app has raised almost $35,000 for Behind the Scenes and Light Relief.

The iRFR app – available for purchase from the iTunes store – duplicates the functionality of an ETCNet3 Radio Focus Remote. It is compatible with both the Eos and Congo families of control, and requires no special hardware or factory-coding.

To learn more about Behind the Scenes and Light Relief, or to apply for a grant, visit or

Rock Our World Winners Announced

The third annual Rock Our World Awards were presented at ESTA’s annual dinner on October 21, the evening before the LDI show.

The winners were: Total Structures for the RSC Lightlock; Theatre Projects Consultants for the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre Carallon; and J.R. Clancy, Electronic Theatre Controls, and Mike Wood Consulting for the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House Chandelier.

These awards -- which recognize groundbreaking achievement by ESTA members in new products, product applications, or projects -- were created to acknowledge the genius of both the creator of technology and the designer or integrator who applies the technology in a real world environment.

Almost 30 nominations were received from across the industry which were narrowed down to a shortlist of 12 finalists for the panel of judges to review. The judges for this year’s awards were Seth Jackson, Tom McPhillips, Bill Sapsis, Brad Schiller, and Jim Tetlow chaired by Mike Wood.

Congratulations to all winners! Now it’s time to keep an eye out for what rocks your world in the coming year. Nominations will open next spring.

Architecture Competition Documents Due

The deadline for application documents for the“Ideal” Theatre Student Design Competition, USITT’s Student Architecture competition, documents are due December 22. Click here for complete competition rules and schedule.

Get Out and Vote!

USITT members (current members as of noon, Eastern Standard Time on November 8, 2010) were sent an e-mail that included an hyperlink to the voting site. A URL to the web site and a registration code was also included.

The initial e-mail was sent on November 15, subsequent reminder e-mails will be sent on: December 1, 2010; December 15, 2010; and January 3, 2011.

Paper ballots were distributed to members that prefer not to receive e-mail. Voting will close on January 5, 2011, midnight EST. For more information, contact Shannan Hoerger at 800-938-7488 or 315-463-6463 ext 101.

Volunteers Recognized at Event

ESTA (Entertainment Services and Technology Association) presented the 2010 Frank Stewart Volunteer of the Year Award to Scott Blair and Eric Johnson for organizing the ESTA Control Protocols Plugfests and to Peter Willis for his work on the ESTA Connectivity Pavilion.

Mr. Johnson was among those who, in addition to helping the Control Protocols Working Group create standards documents, provided management of the Control Protocols Plugfest. The event provided the industry with a commercial-free certification zone so members could test products using communications standards.

The award was presented at ESTA’s annual dinner October 21.

The Frank Stewart award was created to honor Mr. Stewart’s unrivaled service to ESTA during the 18 years he served as treasurer. This award recognizes extraordinary effort by a volunteer or group of volunteers during the previous year.

Consider Prague Tour in 2011

USITT is planning to offer a Study Tour in 2011 centered around the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design & Space. This will be offered in place of the more time-intensive 2011 Study Tour to both Turkey and Prague, which will not be held.

Details of the PQ Study Tour are still under development, and will be highlighted on the USITT website at Plans are to offer a more affordable price and include airfare from the United States, hotel accommodations near the PQ exhibitions, and access to the city’s most historic sites.

Tours of places like the “New Town,” the “Old Town,” Prague Castle, the old Jewish Quarter, and the Museum of Decorative Arts are being considered. A day trip to Cesky Krumlov to see the Castle and its remarkable baroque theatre may also be included. The Castle Theatre in Cesky Krumlov is among the most well-preserved historical sites of its kind in the world.

The tour will include the exclusive pre-opening PQ party on June 15 and include time for many 2011 Prague Quadrennial events. Marianne Custer will continue as tour leader.