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Conference & Stage Expo
For the Record

Sessions Highlight
Canadian Theatre

Paul Court
Toronto Promotions Coordinator

The October issue of Sightlines highlighted some of the Regional Attractions available to those attending the upcoming USITT Conference. Here are additional regional programming highlights for the Toronto 2005 USITT Conference & Stage Expo in March.

Theatre Ontario Safety Program
Saturday, March 19, 2005 2:30 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

Theatre Ontario is an arts service organization serving both community and professional theatres in Ontario, and provides several useful links between the two groups. It has initiated a major safety program to raise awareness at all levels of theatre activity. In particular, it has sent professionals to conduct safety audits for community theatres.

Ray Salverda, one of those professionals, will describe this innovative approach and how it was conducted. For a description of their program see:

From Doing It To Teaching It
Wednesday, March 16, 2005 8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

To reverse and dispute the old aphorism: those who do can't necessarily teach.

Graduate school is not the only route to a teaching career. This is particularly true in Canadian post-secondary theatre production and design programs, where - in marked contrast with American schools - faculty members with graduate degrees are the exception. Nevertheless, there are many faculty in the United States and elsewhere who established their professional careers before they began teaching.

How do professionals begin academic careers, and what do we have to learn in order to become good teachers? How do we adjust to dealing with students, and how do we sustain our professional careers? How, if we choose, do we leave academia and rejoin the profession full time? The panel consists of a group of people who have faced and answered these questions.

Winston Morgan - SM Arts: Giving Notes
Saturday, March 19, 2005 2:30 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

Winston Morgan is one of Canada's senior stage managers who has, quite literally, written the book on Stage Management: Stage Managing The Arts In Canada (S.M. Arts, Toronto, 2000). He also runs a popular series of annual workshops, SM Arts, that features seminars by stage managers for stage managers on a wide range of topics and job skills.

In this workshop, Mr. Morgan will lead a seminar on Giving Notes, an introduction into the art of giving notes to cast, crew, and production staff. This skill is very important to the wellbeing of a production and is often one of the last techniques to be learned as a stage manager.

Summer Stock - Theatre Production
Friday, March 18, 2005 4:45 p.m. - 6:05 p.m.

Southern Ontario has one of the greatest concentrations of summer theatre companies in North America. These range from the two largest repertory theatres on the continent (the Stratford and Shaw Festivals), to several outdoor Shakespeare companies, to companies performing in barns and second-story, century-old opera houses. See to get some idea of the scope of this activity.

Production staff from several of these companies will share their experiences in mounting summer theatre productions in small-town Canada where physical resources and labor may be in short supply. A short video of Drayton Entertainment's operations at five widely separated theatres will introduce the session.

Cirque du Soleil Super Session
Wednesday, March 16, 2005 2 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

This session promises to be one of the highlights of the Conference. Several members of the design and production staff of the world-renowned Cirque du Soleil will lead this expanded session. This will be a multi-disciplinary exploration of their innovative design and production techniques.

Acclaimed internationally for the élan of their production, the people from Cirque also put on great presentations for their peers. Don't miss this one.

Admittedly, this is not strictly a Regional session but rather an event co-sponsored by the Costume, Technical Production, and Scene Design Commissions.

The Toronto Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts
Friday, March 18, 2005

Finally, in a brief update, it is confirmed that a limited number of hard hat tours of the new opera house will be available following the Summer Stock - Theatre Production session. That session is scheduled for Friday, March 18, 2005 from 4:45 p.m. to 6:05 p.m. The Centre will still be under construction during the Conference. Remember, you can keep an eye on the progress of construction at


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