February 2012

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February 2012

News From

Regional Sections

Ohio Valley: Seek Board Nominations

The Ohio Valley Regional Section is accepting nominations for board seats. Positions up for election are Chair of the Section, Vice Chair of Programming, and four Board Members at Large.

Send name, the position, and a brief bio to Rick Clever: richard_clever@owens.edu. Voting will begin at the Section’s annual membership meeting Thursday morning at the Long Beach 2012 Conference & Stage Expo.

New England: Job Fair in Boston

The annual REPA Job Fair will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at the Back Bay Events Center, 180 Berkeley Street, Boston, Massachusetts. Sponsors are StageSource and USITTNE

For job seekers, admission is free, and no registration is required.

Employers in entertainment, theatre, film, television, dance, industrial suppliers, and related industries can find employees to fill job openings in design, technical production, consulting, management, marketing, and administration.

This is an opportunity to meet producers and employers, drop off a resume and show a portfolio. Positions in production, design, tech, administration along with summer stock and internship opportunities are available/

Applicants are provided with a list of attending employers and job openings. Employers may conduct interviews and review portfolios on the spot or take resumes and business cards for follow up. (Resumes of applicants unable to attend will also be distributed to registered employers, call 617-720-6066 to find out how).

Midwest: Announce Upcoming Events, Theatre Tour Review

Three upcoming events in the USITT Midwest Regional Section are open to anyone in the area.

On Saturday February 18, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the section will tour the newly-opened Center for Performing Arts in Carmel, Indiana, a new three-venue performing arts complex near Indianapolis.

The morning features an extensive tour with Director of Production Kyle Lemoi and the afternoon will include a discussion of the design, construction, and use of The Center with representatives from the companies that contributed to the creation of the three venues. This includes the theatrical and acoustical consultants Artec Consultants; design architects Pedcor Design Group; construction management company Shiel-Sexton Co.; lighting system vendor Indianapolis Stage Sales and Rentals; lead architects CSO Architects; and resident company Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre. Contact Shane Kelly, Vice-Chair for Programming, at skelly19@depaul.edu to register for this event.

On April 14, the Midwest Section will gather at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan for a day of hands-on workshops in rigging, digital media, and management. In the morning, participants will have the choice between a workshop that explores how to use digital media in theatrical productions or a Production Management Roundtable featuring production managers from around the Midwest Section. The afternoon will have a continuation of the digital media workshop where participants will shoot live-action video and green screen session in preparation for using them on stage. Also in the afternoon will be a hands-on bridle and spot rigging workshop — bring your calculators! Look for registration materials on the USITT Midwest webpage, www.usittmidwest.org in February.

Also in April USITT Midwest is co-sponsoring, with Chicago Spotlight, a two-day scenic painting workshop taught by Jen Knott at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Ms. Knott is a professional scenic artist, USA member, and paint products manager for Rosco Laboratories

This is an intensive workshop for intermediate to advanced scenic painters where participants will be able to complete a number of projects while learning new tips and tricks. Space is very limited and people must register for this event before March 23. For more information or to sign up, contact Steve Jacobs, Director of Training Workshops at Chicago Spotlight at steve@chicagospotlight.com

On November 12, members of the Midwest Regional Section gathered on Chicago’s Navy Pier for a day of tours and workshops at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre.

The production staff at CST, led by Director of Production Chris Plevin and Technical Director Edward Leahy, welcomed 20 section members to tour all the production spaces at CST. The group began in the 500-seat Courtyard Theatre, the primary thrust theatre, which was hosting the critically acclaimed production of Follies.

Chris and Ed led the group through the modifications made to the Courtyard Theatre to accommodate the musical needs to Follies as well as the tight backstage spaces that have been transformed to use every square inch to support the production and serve as storage for the company. The drawback of having such a great location such as Navy Pier for CST is that it has a finite amount of space to work with to house the production support spaces for two theaters including a prop shop, costume shop, wig and make-up shop, lighting workshop, and sound workshop.

After the extensive tour, the group split off to workshops in millinery and flying. Melissa Bochat, the CST costume crafts supervisor, discussed the design, construction, and finishing techniques used on many of the hats that were built for Follies. Mark Witteveen from Chicago Flyhouse discussed the methods and protocols his company uses to safely fly performers at CST and other venues. This included what items to include on a pre-show checklist, how to inspect the flying equipment, and how to make sure effect runs safely and consistently.

In the afternoon, the day’s workshops continued with Ed Leahy and Chris Plevin working with the participants on how to create a risk assessment process for theatre. Ed and Chris have adopted a system from the UK for judging the risks at each step of the process as well as judging the possible severity of those risks. This information is then used to create action items to assure that everyone working on the show, from staff to over-hire, is working in an environment without undue risks. James Savage, CST’s sound master, walked participants through how he and the sound design team created an aural environment to support the orchestra and singers in Follies.

Members of the Midwest Regional Section at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre on Chicago's Navy Pier.

Photo/Shane Kelly