August 2012

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August 2012

The Last Word:

From our student members

As school starts, students should begin to think about attending the 2013 Annual Conference & Stage Expo. Several of USITT's Regional Sections provide scholarships or other incentives for attending. Past winners have expressed their appreciation and shared their experiences.

Below are the thoughts from the Northern Boundary winner. In future issues, other student winners will provide their insights.

USITT National Conference - A Goldmine... Fascinating... and Educational!

Kirsten Lerohl Doughnut Scholarship Recipient

Kirsten Lerohl

Hello and thank you from Kirsten Lerohl, the flattered and fortunate recipient of the "Doughnut Scholarship." I am a theatre student at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, graduating this spring with my AFA, and planning to transfer to Minnesota State University, Mankato to pursue a BFA in theatre design and technology in costuming. I am most pleased to report on my experiences at USITT's Annual Conference & Stage Expo this year in Long Beach, California.

I spent most of my time in sessions over the week, so I'd like to start out by sharing some of my experiences with my favorites. An Introduction to Patterning Costume Design Details was very much the most useful session I attended during the Conference. I couldn't take notes fast enough. It was a total goldmine of visual aids and helpful tips geared towards young and beginning designers. The absolutely most fascinating and informative session, and my personal favorite, was Back to the Beach: The History of Swimwear.

Period swimwear is not something often explored in theatrical costumes, so nearly all of it was new to me, and by the time it was over, I was itching to get my machine buzzing with a period swimsuit project. At one point, a session that I had intended on going to had been moved up in time, and I didn't get the memo in time until it was too late and I had missed it. Thus arose the perfect opportunity to branch out and try something new during my newly opened time slot.

I jumped in Giorgio Koukoumas' presentation of his lighting work. It was absolutely gorgeous, and the way he talked about lighting made it seem so simple, kind of in the way a dancer can be so skilled that they make their routines look easy. My respect and admiration for what lighting can accomplish on stage has grown tenfold by learning about and watching Mr. Koukoumas' designs and ideas.

Stage Expo was a fabulous experience. Between the copious numbers of fliers and swag and the beautiful student design displays, there was no limit to the learning and networking to be done. Over the week I spent some time picking up informational brochures and talking to representatives from universities with MFA programs, as I am considering going farther in my education after earning my BFA. One specific valuable experience I had at the expo was at the Smooth-On Inc. booth. After looking at their display and seeing what could be done with molding, I was uber-inspired to explore its potential applications in makeup effects and costumes.

The USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo was truly beneficial to me and an invaluable experience. I learned so much and met so many new and interesting people, not to mention that I took away a lot of enjoyment and inspiration from the work of my fellow designers and students. As my closing statement, I would like to extend an enormous thank-you to the selection committee and to all of the NBS meeting attendees and contributors for their doughnut-less support in making this conference trip a reality for me.

See you in Milwaukee!

With sincere gratitude,
Kirsten Lerohl