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For the Record
Southeast to Host Master Class

As Yogi Berra said, "It's déjà vu all over again."

North Carolina School of the Arts again will host the Southeast Regional Section's Master Class. Those who attended the 2005 Class at NCSA can rest assured that the quality and quantity of workshop offerings will be surpassed. No stone has been left unturned by Doug Brown, Master Class Host, in his search to provide a full slate of offerings. Scheduled for September 20 to 22, the 2007 Master Class will be held at NCSA Design and Production Facilities in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Preliminary course offerings provide a hint of the opportunities available. Topics include: You Have That Degree-Now What? presented by Michael Devine of Devine Design Group; Bowl Turning, a reprise of Bland Wade's well-attended 2005 workshop; Motion Control I & II, by the wonderful folks at Fisher Theatrical; Ballet Bodice Workshop, by Lynnsey Slanina from Florida School of the Arts; Survey of Structural Design, developed by Henry Grillo from NCSA; Toys for the Paint Shop, by Howard Jones, also from NCSA; Creating a Projection Design Using Photoshop, by Wake Forest University's Jon Christman; Using Apple's Ipod in the Design Classroom, by Dixon Williams of Georgia College and State University, and Blood and Guts by Michael Meyer of NCSA.

Sessions also are planned in Creative Problem Solving, Understanding Media Servers, Accessing to Excel, Power Tool Tune Ups, and Basic CNC Routing for Scenic Applications by Henry Grillo, Eric Rimes, Troy Brizius and Dave Olse, all NCSA faculty.

Interested parties are encouraged to visit the NCSA Design and Production web page for more information about housing and Master Class registration.

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Chesapeake Plans Convention, Design Expo

Final preparations are being made for the Chesapeake Regional Section's annual convention and expo being held at Shenandoah University on Saturday, September 15. This year's convention promises to be one of the best. By popular demand, full day workshops in circus-type rigging and VectorWorks computer-aided drafting will be featured.

Approximately 18 vendors will participate on the convention floor, and 18 workshops (approximately one to two hours long) will be presented during the day.

There's still time to put in an application for Design Expo '07, a showcase of designers' work which will be given feedback by industry professionals. For details on the Design Expo 07, contact Andrew Rich,, or download an application form.

For those traveling long distances, there are many motels near by to choose from. Membership and registration may be completed on-line or at the convention entrance upon arrival. For directions, go to Shenandoah University's web site.

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New England Plans Barbecue

The Annual USITT New England Regional Section Barbecue is quickly approaching. It will again be held at the home of Section Chair Crystal Tiala in West Roxbury, Massachusetts at 1 p.m. September 8. E-mail for directions and to RSVP. Aside from a bit of business, members should plan to have some fun. Free food! It will be a whale of a time.

The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region I is coming back to Leominster/Fitchburg, Massachusetts January 29 to February 3. The events are not just for students. Come for a day or for the whole time. The USITT NE Regional will begin during the festivities. It is a great central location so plan to come and enjoy. See for details.

Make sure to get the latest New England news. Anyone who is not signed up for the USITT New England listserve, go to for directions. This is one of the few listserves with a low volume of e-mails. You won't want to miss anything!

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Desert State Plans Board Retreat

The Desert State Regional Section's board of directors will hold it's annual board retreat at Northland Pioneer College 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 11. The Section is working on a presentation to share with its hosts and others practicing the art outside of the metropolitan areas.

This meeting is the board's working session where it sets the Section's calendar of activities, approves the years budget, and discusses other topics as needed. Contact for information on the planned activities.

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Midwest Programming Finishes Strong

The USITT Midwest Regional Section held its final program of 2006-07 on May 5 on the campus of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana (UIUC). The event had three components, hoping to provide something of interest to everyone attending.

With the fiscal assistance of Holly Monsos and USITT, the Section was able to bring in Jim Greco, right, University of Wisconsin-Madison costume shop head, who conducted a seven-hour, "hands-on" workshop devoted to the design and creation of wigs. Participants were asked to bring any materials they wanted to use; the only verboten material was actual hair. The final results were very creative and some quite elaborate.

The other two events were targeted more for technicians interested in rigging principles and automation. Eric and Beth Martell conducted a two-hour demonstration of bridling using the dual tools of shop math and actual measurements. They proved the math actually works through a series of load cells and computer readouts. Demonstrations such as this are part of a program being developed as part of the USITT sponsored Physics of Theatre Project, a joint effort between Millikin University's Physics department and UIUC's Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and Theatre Department.

The last element of the program was the first Midwest Mechanical Design Competition. Organized by Ms. Martell, this segment featured a contest of student designed, fabricated, and operated cannon prototypes that shot tennis balls. There were seven contestants in all. The submissions varied from working mockups to some that were elaborately finished. At the May 5 event, USITT members could watch the competitions for Longest Shot, won by Michael Vila with his booming 165 foot launch, and Most Accurate, won by Matt Stratton whose cannon hit its target eight of 10 shots. (The remaining two shots hit the edge of the target -- so he never missed by much).

Mr. Stratton took home the USITT Midwest Regional Section Best Design Award that included a trophy and $100, and the Best Aesthetic Design Award for his incredibly accurate and nicely finished cannon. The judges also recognized Nicole Bromley with the Best Proposal trophy. All participants received certificates and t-shirts. Decisions were made by the adjudication team of Dennis Dorn (UW-Madison), Marty Lazarus (Chicago Spotlight), and Ms. Martell (UIUC, Krannert Center). Overall, the event was extremely well organized and lots of fun.

Next season's Midwest Section programming is being planned but will feature events involving makeup, corsets, moving lights, tours, props, and a major blockbuster musical playing in Chicago. This year will also see the Second Annual Midwest Mechanical Design Competition. Keep an eye on for more information.

Above, Midwest Regional Section Chair Jonathan Darling looks over some of the entries in the section's recent Mechanical Design Competition.

Photos/Dennis Dorn

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