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News & Notices
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Conference & Stage Expo
For the Record
USITT VP to Speak at Desert State

The Desert State Regional Section will hold its Annual Membership meeting on Saturday, January 13 at Paradise Valley Community College. Kim Williamson, USITT VP-Commissions, will be the keynote speaker.

Information on the workshops will be available on the section website.

Howard S. Wright and Inverse Lighting have generously offered to underwrite the expense of breakfast at the section meeting during the USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo. The section will host a Tech Olympics competition at the state Thespian Conference November 17 and 18, 2006.

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NE Plans for KC/ACTF, REPA

There are two big events coming soon to the New England Regional Section: The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KC/ACTF), Region I and the seventh annual Regional Entertainment, Production and Administration Job Expo (REPA '07).

KC/ACTF, in Fitchburg/Leominster, Massachusetts from January 31 to February 3, 2007 is shaping up to include a wealth of design and technology events. In addition to seeing the quality shows from the region and visiting the design expo to see student and faculty work, there will be outstanding workshops.

Among those of special interest are Rafael Jaen's workshop and book signing for Developing and Maintaining a Design-Tech Portfolio: A Guide for Theatre, Film & TV; creative and technical sound workshops with Vincent Olivieri and Michael Maynard; production management workshops by Michael Cottom (University of Massachusetts) and Bridget Sullivan (North Shore Music Theatre); moving lights with David Empey and ETC; plus a lighting competition in the Lightbox model environment with Charles Kirby and Ben Tevelow. Also planned are model construction with Mr. Kirby; lighting technologies and scenic textures with Bryan Steele from Rosco; scenic automation with Gareth Conners and Chase Rozelle; PRG Scenic Technologies with Orestes Mihaly; Getting the Figure on the Page with Elinor Parker; silk fabric painting with Gretel Geist and Jodi Ozimek; The Designer as Entrepreneur with Scott Pinkney; and a design and tech dinner for faculty, sponsored by the Boston Illumination Group.

The event includes a Design Expo, Educational Expo, and many workshops. Students should be sure to participate in the Tech Olympics on Friday and enter Technical Innovations and Craftsmanship projects for awards. Classroom designs may be entered as Regional design projects. For more information on categories, awards, criteria, registration and schedules, go to

PRG, North Shore Music Theater and U-Mass, Amherst will interview for technical/administration positions on Saturday. Job candidates are urged to bring resumes and portfolios. Other companies wishing to interview students for design or tech opportunities can e-mail

There is still room available for faculty and staff to display recent design and technical work in the Design Expo. Contact John Devlin at

REPA '07 will be held at 88 Tremont St., Boston, Massachussets on Saturday, February 24, 2007. Students should be prepared with portfolios and resumes. Each year 30 to 40 employers from across the region gather to interview applicants for full- and part-time positions, internships, and other opportunities. There is no fee for applicants.

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Get Active with SoCal Section

A job fair, portfolio review, and Expo, sponsored by the Southern California Regional Section will be held Saturday, January 20, 2007 at Center State Theatre, Paseo Nuevo Center in Santa Barbara, California.

A panel discussion will be held 10 to 11:30 a.m. Registration for portfolio reviews will be held noon to 2:45 p.m. with portfolio reviews taking place 3 to 6 p.m..

A Stage Expo will be held noon to 3 p.m.

Students, designers, and other professionals interested in attending this event can e-mail Sue Brandt at

Watch for other Southern California Regional Section events coming up at

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HOA to Host Conference, Workshops

The fourth annual Heart of America Regional Section Conference and Workshops will take place on December 16 and 17 at the Johnson County Community College campus in Overland Park, Kansas.

Workshops will include two presentations from Steven Louis Shelley, author of the popular A Practical Guide to Stage Lighting, inventor of the Field Template, and a 30 year veteran of professional touring and lighting design. Mr. Shelley will present Paperwork and Survival Techniques for Domestic and International Tours and Lighting in Large Urban Environments or Working with the Unknown Venue, Crew and Rental House. Other sessions will include Innovation in Sound - The Beatles in Production by Tom Mardikes, nationally recognized sound designer, member of USITT Sound Commission, founding member of the Kansas City Actors Theatre, and chair of the theatre department at UMKC; and Automated Cueing Systems for Live/Recorded Performances by Ben C. Roose, an active lighting designer in the United Kingdom and currently artist-in-residence in Wichita, Kansas.

For more information on the HOA conference, go to:

All Heart of America Regional Section full-time student and young professional members are eligible for one of two $250 Travel Grants to attend the 2007 USITT Conference and Stage Expo in Phoenix. Contact Patrick Immel at for more information and to apply. Application deadline is January 19.

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Southwest Recaps Fall Symposium, Exhibit

The USITT-Southwest Regional Section held its Fall Symposium September 9 and 10 at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. For the first time, the section also had an adjudicated exhibit of designs by working professionals and educators in the region.

The theme for the symposium was "Is There Life After College?" and featured sessions on portfolios, resumes, alternative employment, and dressing for success. Over 50 section members attended the symposium and exhibit. Claremarie Verheyen, costume designer at the University of Houston, led a session on the dos and don'ts of resumes. She then followed up with another session on the classic portfolio model. Amy Jackson, sales manager of AV Pro, and Steve Surratt, vice president of Texas Scenic, spoke about available jobs in sales and installation as an alternative to traditional theatre and entertainment employment.

The first day concluded with a reception and time to peruse the design exhibit at the Wichita Falls Museum of Art. The exhibit featured the scenery, lighting, and costume designs of several working professional and academic designers from the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas that comprise the section.

The exhibit was on view from September 9 to 25. It was adjudicated by Arden Weaver, associate dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Minnesota at Duluth. Mr. Weaver serves USITT as Chair of the Design Expo Committee and as the Vice-Chair for Heritage of the Scene Design Commission.

The second day began with Elizabeth Lewandowski, costume designer and professor at Midwestern State University, leading a session on dressing for a successful interview. Attendees critiqued live models for their appearance and fashion sense. Michael Skinner, lighting designer at Texas Christian University, demonstrated electronic portfolio presentation techniques highlighting CDs versus traditional materials. The sessions finished with students presenting their portfolios for interactive reviews with the various designers attending.

After the sessions, the membership meeting was led by Section Chair James Cunningham to discuss future events including the next two national conferences and the upcoming Winter Symposium. Ms. Verheyen volunteered the University of Houston to host the next symposium in January over the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. The symposium is slated to include design rendering sessions and possibly tours of the downtown Houston theatre district. Kris Hanssen of Sam Houston State University is Regional Programming Chair for the USITT 2008 Conference & Stage Expo in Houston and presented several ideas for regional attractions. These ideas will be discussed further at the Winter Symposium on January 13 and 14, 2007 at the University of Houston.

Registration and housing information for the Winter Symposium will be e-mailed to current members and will be available at several weeks prior to the symposium. Also featured at the symposium is Design Southwest, the section's annual student design exhibit and competition. Prizes are awarded for the best designs in the categories of scenery, lighting, and costume design. The exhibit is also open to professional and academic designers, but they are not eligible for the awards or prizes. Students are urged to take advantage of this opportunity to receive feedback before the KC/ACTF Region VI student design exhibit.

James Cunningham concluded his last membership meeting as Chair and thanked the members for their support during his two years leading the section. Don J. Childs is the incoming Section Chair and will lead the January meeting.

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