March 2014

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March 2014


Costume Commission Looks for 2015 Sessions

Jenny Kenyon Vice-Commissioner of Programming, Costume Design & Technology

The Costume Design & Technology Commission is in the last stretches of getting ready to high-tail it to Fort Worth Texas for the 2014 Annual Conference & Stage Expo but is beginning the process again for Cincinnati 2015 Conference & Stage Expo.

Commission members in Fort Worth will vote on the sessions they want to see in Cincinnati. The deadline for 2015 session proposals is February 21.

Visit, go to the Costume Commission page and look for the heading "Propose A Session." The page describes a professional development workshop (PDW) or a session The PDW is usually scheduled the Monday and/or Tuesday before the start of the Conference and are often on topics that need several hours or a day to cover. These are much more in-depth and require scheduling and logistics. A PDW has to be reviewed fiscally and physically for viability. Fill out the form and send it to Jenny Kenyon, Vice-Commissioner of Programming for CD&T, at or Martha Cooper, Vice-Commissioner for Pre-Conference Events, at

For a session, click on the form and fill it out. Those who have difficulty with the PDF can print it, fill it in manually, and e-mail the page to Place "USITT session proposal" in the subject line.

The person who proposes a session does not have to chair it although that is common. Anyone with a great idea for a session, but doesn't feel able to chair it should send on the idea. It may be something that everyone is clamoring for. The Commission will work to find a panel and/or chair.

There are a few basic kinds of sessions. There is the single presenter/lecturer who has often done extensive research or creative work on a single topic. It may be something specific or general. While these are great, anyone proposing a session is encouraged to find ways to spur member, nonmember, and industry involvement. The other common form is the panel. There are several benefits to this format. No one person is saddled with talking for over an hour, and the membership gets the advantage of several opinions or methodologies and several contacts within the field. This is where the session chair is a key player keeping everything on track and providing materials for the archive. Usually three to five people make up a panel. Commission members are happy to help find panel members.

The CD&T encourages a wide range of topics for sessions. They can include cutting edge processes and technologies, creative ways of doing things, or a new perspective on a previous topic. The Commission's constituency ranges from students just learning the craft to seasoned professionals and educators, so sessions are not expected to meet everyone's needs. It can focus on a particular group or a range of experience levels.