December 2015

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December 2015

News From

Around the Institute

USITT Names in the News...

Tracy Nunnally, president of Hall Associates Flying Effects, a USITT Contributing Member, was recently profiled in Live Design online magazine. Nunnally talked about his love of theatre and how he views rigging as a mechanism to tell the story. “To Tracy Nunnally, rigging is like dancing.” Read the rest here.

Costume Designer Wendi Zea and Scene Designer William Bloodgood recently won top awards at the Syracuse Area Live Theatre Awards in Central New York. Zea won Costumer of the Year, Play, for her costume design for 1776 at the Cortland (N.Y.) Repertory Theatre. Bloodgood won Set Designer of the Year, Play, for Other Desert Cities at Syracuse Stage. Read the story here.

Eric Hart, the subject of this month’s “Member Spotlight,” was recently featured in a story about the props he came up with for the Triad Stage production of “Deathtrap.” Read it here.

And for New Year’s, try making his wooden ratchet noisemaker featured in the October issue of ScrollSaw Woodworking.


USITT participated in LDI 2015 Oct. 23 to 25 with a beautiful corner Booth 2415, marked by the big red USITT square balloon floating overhead.

Representing USITT at the show were President Mark Shanda, Executive Director David Grindle, VP-Commissions Carolyn Satter, Stage Expo Manager Ron Propcopio, Marketing and Public Relations Director Lynne Dundas, Member Services Director Monica Merritt, Marketing Strategist Gabrielle Chiddy, and Education/Training Coordinator Christine Troscher.

Many friends stopped by the booth including USITT Fellows Joe Aldridge, Mitch Hefter, Jerry Gorrell, and Ken Vannice. Many attendees asked about USITT 2016 and the programs promoted at the booth: the Gateway mentoring program for students underrepresented in technical theatre, Elite Training for early career professionals, and the upcoming Essential Skills for Entertainment Technicians (eSET) program. Dana Taylor and Darren Levin, members of the eSET Lighting and Electrics Working Group, also visited and answered questions about the program, which will hold the first basic skills exams at USITT 2016. (More on eSET here.)

Click here to view our Facebook album from LDI 2015 »

USITT Member Hall Co-Authors Handbook

Delbert L. Hall, rigging guru and USITT member, will sign copies of The Arena Riggers’ Handbook at the USITT 2016 Bookstore in Salt Lake City in March.

Hall co-authored the book with Brian Sickels. It is the latest in a series of books on rigging and rigging mathematics the theatre and dance professor from East Tennessee State University has written. He’s even created the rigging apps RigCalc and PocketRigger. He is an ETCP certified theatre rigger and ETCP recognized trainer.

The book will be available at the USITT 2016 bookstore, and Hall will participate in a member author book signing. Any author who is a USITT member and has produced a publication on theatre design or techology in the past year may participate. To sign up, contact

USITT Diversity, Student Meetings Focus of Boston Trip

Katz, Jaen, & Grindle on Twitter.

USITT’s diversity efforts were presented by David Grindle, Executive Director, at the League of Resident Theatres’ (LORT) Fall Conference in Boston recently.

The meeting brought together managing directors, artistic directors, and heads of production from dozens of LORT theatres across the country. “[The conference] gave us an opportunity to make people more aware of what USITT is doing to promote diversity, that we’re developing networks and giving people opportunities to diversify the hiring pool” for technical theatre, Grindle explained.

Two members of USITT’s Board of Directors, Rafael Jaen and Mike Katz, took advantage of Grindle’s trip to have him to speak to their students at the University of Massachusetts-Boston. Jaen teaches theatre arts and Katz is technical director at UMass-Boston. They invited students to The McCormack Theatre at UMass to meet Grindle and ask him questions about USITT, the business of theatre, and making a career in technical theatre.

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