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Conference & Stage Expo
For the Record
New England Plans Theatre Fest, Job Expo

The October barbecue, normally held by the New England Regional Section at the end of August, was attended by a small but enthusiastic group preparing for upcoming activities. In the coming months, New England will participate in two major regional events.

First, the 2006 Region I Festival of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival will be held at Fitchburg State College, Fitchburg, Massachusetts and at the Four Points Sheraton in Leominster, Massachusetts from January 31 to February 5. Those interested in helping should contact Crystal Tiala at There is still time to get college students involved in Regional competitions or just encourage them to attend the many activities and workshops. See for more information.

The sixth annual Regional Entertainment, Production and Administration Job Expo is scheduled for February 25, 2006, at 88 Tremont Street in downtown Boston. Mark your calendars now.

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Southwest Plans Conference

The 2006 Southwest Winter Symposium will be held at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas January 14 and 15. Exciting workshops include a hands-on workshop by Fiber Artist Tamara Chasteen and portfolio reviews by Luc Lafortune, Lighting Designer for Cirque du Soleil. Jim Kemerling will be a featured artist at the Symposium.

Mr. Lafortune will give the keynote, discussing his experiences designing such shows as Mystère, "0", Zumanity, and . Joe Tawil of GAM Products will present a lecture demonstration on color. A hands-on workshop on Vectorworks will be limited to 20 attendees as will a workshop on computer animation. A product demonstration by scenic artist and Rosco representative Jen Knott will highlight new paint products. ETC representative Heidi Stewart will be on hand to demonstrate new control systems.

Student designers may have their work judged and critiqued by Mr. Lafortune, Mr. Kemerling, and others. The Best Presentation award, sponsored by Schuler Shook, includes a full Conference Registration fee for the USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Louisville, Kentucky with $200 toward airfare. Other awards include WYSIWYG Design Software, Vectorworks Software, LDassistant Software, and prizes from Sapsis Rigging, GAMProducts, Rosco, Norcostco, Secoa, and others.

Symposium registration prior to December 30 is $25 for members, $45 for non-members, and $30 for student non-members. Non-members receive a complementary membership in the section for one year. For more information call Don Childs 936-294-1331 or e-mail him at

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Heart of America Hosts Conference

The Heart of America Regional Section will host its third annual Conference & Stage Expo in the Carlson Center at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas on Saturday, December 10. The conference will feature a full-day stage rigging workshop by Bill Sapsis and sessions on AutoCAD drafting, Digital Audio, and new and unusual costume, prop, and scenic materials.

The conference is open to all and advance registration is encouraged. For more information, go to the web site or contact Brad Reissig, conference chair, at or Dan Stratman at

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Ohio Valley Scholarship Deadline

The Ohio Valley Regional Section reminds students that the scholarship deadline for the 2006 Conference & Stage Expo in Louisville is December 10, 2005. Information and applications can be downloaded from the USITT Ohio Valley home page; just scroll down below the list of Ezekiel award winners.

All entries must be sent via e-mail. The committee will review the applications electronically. A resolution of 72 pixels per inch is adequate for on-screen viewing.

For more information, contact Karen A. Glass, MFA; Seton Hill University; 1 Seton Hill Dr.; Division of Visual and Performing Arts, Theatre Program; Greensburg, PA 15601.

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Northern Boundary Workshop Successful

Miodrag Tabacki was the keynote speaker and guest of honor at the Northern Boundary Fall Workshop at North Dakota State University in Fargo, North Dakota. Mr. Tabacki teaches the art of scenography at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade and has designed sets and costumes for more than 250 productions. He is in the United States as a visiting Fulbright Scholar at the University of Minnesota this fall and at Ohio University in the spring. The engaging and inspiring keynote speech featured slides of a variety of Mr. Tabacki's work. Many of the images that he shared can be found here.

The two-day fall workshop offered a wide array of sessions. Bill Wallace of Hamline University led an all-day, hands-on workshop in life-casting. Niles Sayre of Stage Technology led a workshop on planning a reliable DMX distribution system. Dan Culhane from SECOA led a walk-along rigging inspection at Concordia College's Comstock Theater in neighboring Moorhead, Minnesota.

Sharon Sobel of the University of Nebraska at Omaha attended as a representative of KC/ACTF Region V and gave a very informative presentation on how to prepare for the KC/ACTF design and technical competitions. Student members had a "working lunch" led by the chairs of the two student chapters in the section; Silka Phyllis Werness of the University of Minnesota at Duluth and Hillary Winkworth of Minnesota State University at Mankato. The social highlights of the weekend included grilling, bowling, and a Cover the Walls-style exhibition.

Rooth Varland and Miodrag Tabacki participate in a portfolio review as part of the Northern Boundary Conference.
Photo/C. Lance Brockman

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