August 2016

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August 2016

News & Notices

USITT Members Productive at International Thespian Festival

Elynmarie Kazle USITT Fellow

USITT was well represented at the International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, NE, June 20 to 26 sponsored by the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA).

President Mark Shanda and his daughter, Ann Shanda, as well as Elynmarie Kazle and her son, Will Banno Rothman, showcased the Institute for 3,850 delegates who attended from across the country and worldwide at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. This included teachers from among EdTA’s four new chapters in China.

USITT's display in the Lied Rotunda was very busy with an estimated 100 to 150 students stopping by the table each day to pick up literature about membership, the costume symposium, eSET, upcoming conferences, and everything USITT.

Member educators stopped by to ask questions, get literature for their students, learn more about getting involved with the Institute, and thank the USITT representatives for being at the Festival.

Shanda and Kazle taught workshops designed for teachers. Kazle’s was about building a high school stage management program, and Shanda discussed low-cost design and technology activities for the classroom. Kazle was also asked to serve as an adjudicator for the stage management Individual Events.

Shanda and Kazle attended a workshop on diversity and the EdTA Town Hall Meeting (similar to USITT’s Annual Membership Meeting but smaller) that included a strategic planning component.

This is the second year USITT has exhibited at this international festival. Last year, Kazle met with Julie Theobald, executive director of EdTA, and USITT Executive Director David Grindle had ongoing conversations with both Diane Carr of EdTA and Theobald about ways the Institute could collaborate and enrich the Festival’s technical offerings. There is interest in USITT participating in judging the Tech Challenge, similar to Tech Olympics, as well as do more technical adjudication and provide more expertise with workshops.