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Conference & Stage Expo
For the Record
HOA Plans Conference, Offers Grants

The fourth annual Heart of America Regional Section Conference and Workshop will take place on December 16 and 17 at the Johnson County Community College campus in Overland Park, Kansas. Many sessions are in the works including presentations from Steven L. Shelley, author of the very popular A Practical Guide to Stage Lighting, inventor of "The Field Template," and a 30 year veteran of professional touring and lighting design. More information to follow soon.

Active HOA Section student members are eligible for one of two $250 travel grants to attend the USITT 2007 Conference & Stage Expo in Phoenix. Contact Pat Immel ( after November 1 for more information and to apply.

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Chesapeake Announces New Officers

The Chesapeake Regional Section hosted its annual EXPO on September 16 on the campus of Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey. Over 100 members came out to take part in a day-long series of workshops in costuming, lighting, and set design. The Section also held its annual meeting. The principal item on the agenda was the election of officers. The new Board includes: Kacey Fisher, Chair; Andrew Rich, First Vice-Chair; Mark Wujcik, Second Vice Chair; Stu McGee, Third Vice-Chair; Dan Niccum, Secretary; Gregg Hillmar, Treasurer; and Tom Kennedy and Kim Haug, members-at-Large. Outgoing Section Chair William Price closed the meeting by announcing that Chesapeake Section's 2007 EXPO will be in the southern part of the region in September.

Kacey Fisher, newly elected Section Chair, pictured above.

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Upstate New York Region Holds Fall Kick-Off

Flame, foam, and a dose of by-laws revision were focal points of the Upstate New York Regional Section fall meeting and workshops on September 16 at SUNY Geneseo. As a region, the once-a-year meetings have morphed into a meeting cycle that includes student interests as well as those of educators and professionals. At this first meeting of the season, Lynne Koscielniak offered a workshop on resumes and portfolios as preparation for the January 27 job fair at SUNY Oswego.

In the center of business for the region was the issue of By-Laws. A draft was distributed with an invitation to comment. The proposed by-laws will be sent to all members for a vote on October 30.

Hands-on workshops focused on crafts applicable in scenic and costume areas. Adam West, SUNY Geneseo costume designer, demonstrated a copper wire braising technique he has used to build the horse heads for Equus. Afternoon workshop attendees explored Rosco coatings, primarily the multiple possible applications of CrystalGel, with the guidance and instruction of paint and scenic products manager, Jen Knott.

In concurrent sessions of the Section, the Design, Tech, Management (DTM) Task Force of KCACTF Region II conducted planning for the January 2007 festival. All geographic areas covered by the Upstate Region are in Region II of KCACTF.

Photos/P. Gibson Ralph and Gary T. Musante

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Northern Boundary

The Northern Boundary Regional Section Fall Workshop was held on the campus of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota September 8 and 9. Special guest was Jen Knott, Rosco's paint products manager. Ms. Knott led an excellent hands-on workshop featuring Rosco's texturing products. Following a presentation, participants were given the opportunity to experiment with Foamcoat, Flexbond, Flexcoat, and CrystalGel. Rosco provided swag bags featuring product samples of each.   Alicia Wold, manager of the Guthrie/Children's Theater Costume Rental Program, arranged for a fabulous behind the scenes tour of the new Guthrie and the nearby CostumeRentals and prop warehouse. The backstage tours were led by Assistant Technical Directors Craig Pettigrew and Adriane Heflin. Each shop had a supervisor on hand to answer questions: Amy Schmidt in costumes, Patricia Olive in props, Ross Anderson in sound, and Matt Reinert in lights. The Guthrie also provided swag.  

The Fall Workshop also included several networking opportunities. Three teams of student designers participated in an all-day design charrette led by Dan Keyser and Lance Brockman. The students developed their design ideas for a "Macbeth for our times." The Macbeth Project was the inaugural effort in what will hopefully become an annual event. On Saturday, students from 10 campuses exchanged ideas for student chapter activities and fund raising during a working lunch.

Photos/Rooth Varland

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Southeast Selects Design Expo Winners

The University of Alabama-Birmingham (UA-Birmingham) provided a busy weekend of workshops and demonstrations for the 2006 Southeast Regional Section Master's Class. Carefully orchestrated activities gave participants diverse choices that included painting translucent drop, tutu construction, Photoshop rendering, intelligent lighting, stage management, microphoning the orchestra, weapons handling and upholstery for the stage. In the process, attendees were treated to a very well represented and competitive Design Expo.

A showcase for the design efforts of Southeast Section members, the 2006 Expo entries made the adjudication process particularly challenging. The quality and range of design entries, coupled with increased numbers, served to exhibit the breadth and creative resources available in the region.

The designers whose work will represent the Southeast Regional Section in Phoenix are:

  • Andy Fitch (University of Alabama), whose scenic design is another addition to his impressive string of Expo selections;
  • Deborah Bell's (University of North Carolina-Greensboro) costume design for Death And The King's Horseman presented the contrast in the cultural agendas between that of the Yoruban community of 1946 and the plight of their families at an obscure Nigerian outpost;
  • Bill Brewer of the University of South Florida exhibited costume designs for Romeo and Juliet produced by the British Resident International Theatre Program to round out the selections in the working professional category of the Expo;
  • Matthew Whitton (University of Georgia), a third-year MFA student, presented his scenic design for Children Of An Idol Moon;
  • Skye Geerts' (UA-Birmingham) costume designs for the trompe l'oeil paper wedding dresses for The Praying Mantis fit into the theme of deception that pervades the play; and
  • Kellan Anderson's scenic design for Another Part Of The Forest Represents the University of South Florida.

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