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MARCH 2004
News & Notices
News From:
Conference & Stage Expo
For the Record
USITT To Honor O'Brien
and Bellman

Barbara E.R. Lucas
Public Relations & Marketing Manager

USITT's lineup of stellar award winners now includes Jack O'Brien and Willard Bellman. Both will be honored as part of the 2004 Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Long Beach, California, in March.

Mr. O'Brien, who has been artistic director of the Old Globe in San Diego, California since 1981, will receive the Thomas DeGaetani Award given to honor a lifetime contribution to the performing arts community in a particular region. The award will be presented at the Conference Kickoff and Keynote event at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 17.

Mr. Bellman will receive a USITT Special Citation, given to recognize outstanding achievement in an area of the performing arts community. The award will be presented at the banquet which concludes the Annual Conference on Saturday, March 20.

Mr. O'Brien has been acclaimed for his numerous credits on Broadway, off-Broadway, and for regional theatre, and for his direction of a variety of genres, from Shakespeare to opera to musical comedy.

He has been nominated for five Tony Awards. For San Diego audiences, he has created 60 thought-provoking productions, including world premieres, musicals, adaptations, and classical works. Recent productions include the world premieres of Stephen Metcalfe's Loves & Hours and Nora Ephron's Imaginary Friends, with Swoosie Kurtz and Cherry Jones; Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, with Paxton Whitehead and Harry Groener, on the Globe's outdoor stage; the world-premiere of The Full Monty, the Terrence McNally-David Yazbek musical, which went on to Broadway, London and then toured nationally. He also directs the Globe's popular annual musical, How The Grinch Stole Christmas!

Mr. O'Brien's numerous other recent honors include a Tony Award nomination for his direction of the hit Broadway musical Hairspray, and the 2002 “Mr. Abbott” Award from the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation. He also received the 2001 Drama Desk Award and a Tony Award nomination for his direction of Tom Stoppard's The Invention Of Love, and was also nominated in 2001 for Best Direction of a Musical for The Full Monty. He has been inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre and holds an honorary doctorate from the University of San Diego.

Mr. Bellman, Professor Emeritus at the California State University - Northridge Department of Theatre, is a distinguished author and renowned teacher. His long years of service to USITT and other professional organizations has been recognized throughout his outstanding career.

Now in its third edition, Mr. Bellman's Lighting the Stage, Art and Practice has been and continues to be used as a textbook and reference in classrooms across the nation. His Scene Design, Stage Lighting, Sound, Costume and Makeup is in its second edition.

Mr. Bellman, a Fellow of USITT, received the Founder's Award in 1990. His service to the Institute includes chairing the Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Anaheim, California in 1988 and presenting the Fellows' Address at the 1989 Annual Conference in Calgary. Mr. Bellman was USITT's representative to the joint committee of ATHE, USITT, and NAST which developed the position paper on workloads in the theatre.

He also served as a member of the ATHE panel which developed the position paper on Outcomes Assessment. Always willing to help guide professional development, he was a member of a special USITT/ATHE task force to develop philosophical backgrounds for theatre in higher education.

He served for many years on the Institute's Publications Committee, which he also chaired, and on the Board of Directors.

Mr. Bellman is one of only eight people named Honorary Lifetime Members of USITT.

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Jack O'Brien, artistic director of the Old Globe in San Diego, will be presented the 2004 Thomas DeGaetani Award at the Annual Conference Kickoff and Keynote event on Wednesday, March 17, 2004, in Long Beach.

USITT will present Willard Bellman with a Special Citation on Saturday, March 20, 2004 during the Awards Banquet. His contributions to the Institute are extensive - as are the honors he has accumulated during his prolific career.