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News & Notices
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Conference & Stage Expo
For the Record
Networking Project Seeks Participants

The second organizational meeting of the People of Color Networking Project will be held during the Louisville 2006 Conference & Stage Expo.

The first meeting, held in Toronto, introduced about 20 USITT members to the idea of developing a communications network for all those interested in linking members of various communities, ethnicities, and cultures to one another.

The international flavor of the Toronto conference reinforced the notion that diverse approaches to the performing arts are integral to the creative and collaborative process, and USITT clearly continues to support that concept through many of its activities and programs. The networking project hopes to connect people who may share the same geographic boundaries and citizenship of country, but who may differ in background, training, or philosophy.

The session will be held 7:20 to 8:50 p.m. on Wednesday, March 29 in KICC 108 and will be chaired by Gregory Horton. The group will look at establishing a mission statement and expanding the participant list. Those interested, but unable to attend, can contact Mr. Horton ( or Lea Asbell-Swanger (

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UM Celebrates 75th and 20th

In 2006 the Department of Theatre Arts & Dance at the University of Minnesota launches its 75:20 Celebration marking the 75th anniversary of University Theatre and the 20th anniversary of the formation of the Department of Theatre Arts & Dance. In commemoration of these events, the department invites alumni and guests to visit its new history web site, and return to campus for the 75:20 Reunion April 28 to 30.

The University Theatre and Dance history web site recaptures the '70s, '80s, '90s, and beyond allowing alumni and visitors to renew relationships with the department or learn more about recent performances and instruction. Alumni can upload memories and thoughts about the anniversaries. The 75:20 Reunion will reunite alumni with faculty and friends on campus for a weekend of fun.

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Don't Miss Show and Tell in Kentucky!

The Show and Tell feature of the Costume Design & Technology Commission's annual commission meeting will be held once again at this year's USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo. This presentation offers a chance to see what other costume designers and technologists across the country are doing through a visual exhibition of their work.

As in past show and tell displays, this event does not require a major display, lengthy concept statement, or attendance at the Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Louisville. It is designed to be informal and fun.

With a few digital images and a simple e-mail, you can have your work presented at the Annual Conference & Stage Expo. Show and Tell is open to all designers and technologists.

This opportunity is open to all educational levels. Annaliese Baker, costume designer and professor at California State University, Fresno, is coordinating the event this year. Each applicant should send four to seven pictures of recent work in digital format either via e-mail or on disk. Include a brief biography and a short description of each image. The deadline for submission is March 1. Participants may e-mail or mail Annaliese Baker California State University, Fresno 5241 N. Maple Avenue, M/S SA46 Fresno, CA 93740-8027; phone 559-278-5110.

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Foundation Accepting Aid Applications

Behind the Scenes, an initiative of the ESTA Foundation to provide industry members with financial support when they are seriously ill or injured, is now accepting applications for assistance. Behind the Scenes will provide qualified, eligible individuals with grants that may be used for medical care, funeral expenses, or living expenses such as rent, mortgage, utilities, food, clothing, transportation, and child care.

To qualify for assistance, individuals must currently reside in the United States or Canada and have been at any time employed for a minimum of five years full time service in the entertainment technology industry. Immediate family members including spouses, domestic partners, and dependent children also may qualify for assistance.

For more information and copies of the Summary of Need and Application for Financial Assistance forms visit Behind the Scenes is made possible by contributions from industry members. Consider making a donation today at

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Fire Curtain Standard Up for Review

BSR E1.22, Entertainment Technology - Fire Safety Curtain Systems, is available for public review on the ESTA web site through March 28.

The draft standard describes the materials, fabrication, installation, operation, testing, and maintenance of fire safety curtains and fire safety curtain systems used for theatre proscenium opening protection. It is a serious attempt to specify how a fire curtain shall perform. It doesn't tell what kind of fabric to use for a fire safety curtain, for example, but instead describes how strong a fabric must be and what abrasion and fire tests it must pass. The document may be accessed by visiting or by requesting it from ESTA's technical standards manager.

For more information, contact Karl G. Ruling, Technical at 212-244-1505 or e-mail

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USITT Travel Award Announced

The USITT Member International Travel Award was recently created to assist members with research or creative projects in other countries. In recognition of the scarcity of support for these activities, the USITT International Committee recommended this award alternate years with the Student International Travel Award.

The first award recipient is Frank Mohler, who will travel to Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic to document the theatrical machinery in the Baroque theatre in the castle. Mr. Mohler has previously researched similar historical theatres in the Czech Republic, and has shared his findings with the USITT membership through a web page at which includes computer animations of the machinery in action, and articles in TD&T:  "Survival of the Mechanized Flat Wing Scene Change: Court Theatres of Gripsholm, Cesky Krumlov and Drottningholm" (Winter 1999) which was selected for a 2000 Herbert D. Greggs Merit Award, "The Court Theatre at Mnichovo Hradiste: The Groove System Survives on the Continent" (Winter 2003) which won the 2004 Hebert D. Greggs Award, and, with Jiri Blaha, "The Chateau Theatre in Litomysl and the Scenery of Josef Platzer" (Fall 2004). His forthcoming research will allow him to complete his series of articles on surviving Czech theatres.

Funding for this award is supported in part by donations to the International Activities Fund. As a part of the USITT@50 campaign, contributions to the fund help secure the continuation of this and similar worthy projects. The international research of individual members benefits all members of the Institute, by bringing the world to us through their discoveries.

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ETCP Offers Rigging Exams

The Entertainment Technician Certification Program (ETCP) Council announces the ETCP Rigging Examinations will be available at computer centers around the United States and in Canada beginning March 15, 2006. All interested riggers are invited to apply.

Many employers are now looking for ETCP Certified riggers and have stated they may require certification in the future. In a recent survey of industry employers, 81 percent said they would encourage employees or personnel working in their venues to seek certification in rigging.

Rigging examination applications are now being accepted. The sooner an application is submitted, the sooner the test can be taken. Candidate information, including eligibility requirements and application forms are available on-line. To have examination information and application forms mailed or e-mailed to you, contact Katie Geraghty, ETCP certification director, at 212-244-1505 or

The current ETCP Certified Riggers are listed at These riggers can be identified on the jobsite by their ETCP photo ID card that includes their picture, date of certification and, most importantly, area(s) of specialty. Also, those certified are allowed the exclusive use of the ETCP Certified Rigger logo on their business card or web site, and possess the special lapel pin, embroidered patch, and workbox sticker.

The ETCP Council members are key leaders drawn from entertainment business, labor, facilities, associations, and academia representing the diversity of the entertainment industry. Membership includes AMPTP, CITT, CCE, ESTA, IAAM, IATSE, InfoComm, The League, PRG, TEA, and USITT.

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Student Work Sought for PQ2007

Plans for the USA Schools of Scenography exhibit as part of the Prague Quadrennial are underway, offering exciting opportunities. The design of the exhibit includes both a gallery space and a performance space. For the gallery, schools are invited to submit representative samples of student design projects to the webpage between April 15 and June 15 2006. Materials for the gallery may include renderings, models, costumes, small props, sound, etc. Selected schools will then be allocated a space in the exhibit that they may design and arrange as they wish, using the materials submitted online.

The galleries form the walls of the exhibit and frame a performance area in the center of the space. To generate innovative ideas about alternative forms of design expression and to encourage more participation in the PQ, we are also seeking performance pieces as a part of the student exhibit. The performance is an example of pure design to express an idea without the use of language, given the international setting for the exposition.

Schools interested in getting involved must submit a video/DVD of their performance, created in a space similar to the one defined by the exhibit. The deadline for this part of the exhibit is November 15 2006 and entries must be mailed to Jon Savage, 2 Ridge Street, Winchester, MA 01890. A number of schools will be invited to present their performance pieces daily in Prague and the other entries will be shown through a media show at other times.

Schools may submit to one or both aspects of the exhibit. Travel awards sponsored by the Tobin Fund for Theatre Arts will be given to a number of students entered in either part of the exhibit. The dates of the PQ are June 14-24, 2007.

For additional details about these opportunities, please go to the webpage. In addition, and attend the PQ Spotlight on Students session in at the 2006 Annual Conference & Stage Expo on Wednesday, March 29 at 6 in the Marriott Paddock meeting room.

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