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Conference & Stage Expo
For the Record
Waiting for Spring

Sylvia Hillyard Pannell
USITT President

As Clifton Pannell was doing his annual rereading of Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac, he reminded me that, although it is early February (nearly Groundhog's Day), the rhythms of seasonal change are not far away. Signs of spring approaching will soon give way to our favorite springtime activity. Join us and be "transformed" at the USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo.

As this article goes to press, we are only two weeks from the opening of what promises to be the best conference ever. It will be held March 14 to 17 in Phoenix, Arizona, where we are assured of perfect weather. VP-Programming Carl Lefko, VP-Special Operations Dan Denhart, VP-Conferences Joe Aldridge, and a very capable Conference Committee will offer a potpourri of nearly 200 events including design exhibits, hands-on workshops, formal and informal gatherings of interest groups, an opening night party, and a closing awards banquet.

Part and parcel of the activity is the spectacular USITT Stage Expo. Helen Willard, Stage Expo Sales Manager, guarantees there will be vendors from all areas of show business and they will unveil products old and new to dazzle and delight student and professional members alike. The conference is sure to entice artists, craftspeople, managers, architects, and educators from every avenue of the entertainment industry. For a delightful insight into what is in store for a USITT conventioneer, read Donna Ruzika's article Friends from the April 2005 issue of Sightlines. (Click here)

USITT wants you! If you are not already a member, join and join us in Phoenix in two weeks. Once you have shared this wonderful experience, seen old friends and made new ones, expanded your professional network, learned lots, and had a heck of a lot of fun, you may choose to be a long term, active, and involved USITT member. Between conferences, to stay in touch and keep informed, copies of TD&T, Theater Design & Technology will be sent. It is produced summer, fall, winter, and spring by the unsurpassed Editor/Art Director team of David Rodger and Deborah Hazlett.

I hope that, when you receive your Winter 2008 issue of TD&T and Clifton Pannell rereads A Sand County Almanac, and the rhythms of seasons change to spring once again, we will all be together for an even bigger and better USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Houston, Texas in 2008.

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Groundhogs (known as whistlepigs in some locations) make many people think of spring. This charming image of Willie the Whistlepig, above, was created by Patricia Jones Cox for her short story of the same name. She is the cousin of USITT President Sylvia Hillyard Pannell who thinks of Willie as the seasons prepare to change.

Courtesy: Artist/Patricia Jones Cox