Farewell, But Not Goodbye
As I look back over the last two years, I have memories of many wonderful events. The opening of World Stage Design; the OISTAT World Congress; attending performances at the Actors' Theatre of Louisville; section meetings at the conference; over 300 programming sessions; Rick Stephens and Richard Pilbrow's Fellows Addresses; the Board of Directors Retreat in Orlando where we brainstormed about the 50th birthday celebration: Jon Jory's wonderful Keynote address; our two largest Stage Expos; Ming Cho Lee's comments at the Louisville conference; the work with ESTA, USA, and KCACTF; and lots of good times with lots of good friends.
Such is the fabric of USITT -- I think Rick Stephens expressed it best, all of the wonderful experiences you gain when you get involved with this wonderful organization.
When you receive the honor of being the President of USITT, you have the pleasure of finishing, or at least working on the tasks left by your predecessors and create new tasks to pass on to your successors. Many wonderful events happened during my time as President of USITT, thanks to all the work and support of all the members, as well as the vision of all the Past Presidents, and I have enjoyed every minute of it. I am so glad I raised my hand so many years ago and said "Yes, I'll be the Programming Chair of the Wichita Conference." From that point events have piled on events, providing me with a wealth of new challenges, bringing me to this point. The point where I need to say "Farewell," pass my remaining projects on to your next president, and withdraw to the shadows.
I am not a believer in long goodbyes. So I leave you with some words from my acceptance speech at the Long Beach conference in 2004.
"Many of you in this room have been active in the Institute for many more years than I have and know the benefits of participation. Many more have not. I challenge you all to work on the projects, publications, and programming of the Institute. Exhibit your work at World Stage Design; go to the OISTAT World Congress; propose a program; publish; join a regional section; get involved in the projects of the Institute. Most important, don't let yourself be separated from others that do the work of theatre, talk to everybody. Talk to students, talk to Richard Pilbrow, talk to an International Guest, talk to as many of your fellow members as you can. If you do, like me, you will not just find great friends, you may just find yourself."
With that, I'll see you around the conference, next year in Phoenix. For now, I think I'll go talk to Richard Pilbrow. Farewell to all!!!