December 2012

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December 2012

News From

Around the Institute

Action Design Competition Returns to Stage Expo

Get ready; get set; action! The 2013 Rose Brand/ Action Design Competition will return to the Milwaukee 2013 Conference & Stage Expo.

The competition pits four teams of student designers and technicians against each other in a design “slam.” Each team is given limited supplies and are challenged to create a scenic environment, based on a theme. But, there are a few catches: team members don’t receive those supplies until they get to the Expo; the team’s theme is a secret until the day of the competition; teams are not announced until the start of Stage Expo; and teams have under four hours to design and create an environment as Stage Expo happens around them.

Rose Brand is looking for students who are up to the task. Applications to join in the fun will be available soon on the Rose Brand website.

Kraft Joins JTH Lighting Alliance

Jerry Kraft is the newest member of JTH Lighting Alliance’s Controls Group. He will be a rigging and projects specialist responsible for the promotion and specification of automated rigging for performance facilities as well as lighting controls for commercial, hospitality, and performance applications. Jerry comes to JTH after 17 years at SECOA of Champlin, Minnesota where he served in a variety of capacities including estimator and project manager. He is a member of USITT and holds ETCP certification as an Entertainment Electrician and Rigger – Theatre. A graduate of Minnesota State University - Mankato, Jerry received his bachelor of science degree in theatre arts.

StageBitz Raises Investment Capital

We recently received an update from Catherine Prosser who says, “This is not what I imagined I’d be doing when I did my stage management training back in the ’90s, but this industry is full of surprises.”

She has co-founded StageBitz, which creates online project and inventory management tools for props, scenery, costumes, and other elements of a show.The tools then collate all that information into a central company inventory and allows users to share what they have online for hire, sale or swapping. Visit to see what is available. The system was exhibited at the Long Beach 2012 Conference & Stage Expo.

Institute in 'Green' Headlines

Michael Mehler and Paul Brunner have put USITT in the headlines of the Broadway Green Alliance’s “Green Sheet” publication.

In an article titled “Education Committee Looks for Current and Future Allies,” the pair outlines BGA’s recent establishment of a committee to address environmentally conscious theatre production in primary, secondary, and higher education institutions. The authors credit USITT member efforts at the past two Annual Conference & Stage Expos. In Long Beach, the Institute provided BGA a table at Stage Expo. The group also presented information during a Conference session.

To find out more about the Education Committee and its work, e-mail

New Website for Pittsburgh Stage

Pittsburgh Stage, Inc. recently launched its new website.

The site design features straightforward navigation and a streamlined presentation. This new tool will allow the company to keep visitors up to date with announcements, accomplishments, and design information.

Designers are encouraged to contact Pittsburgh Stage for access to design pages.