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News & Notices
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Conference & Stage Expo
For the Record
Seeking Student Lighting Designers

The Lighting Commission is looking for student lighting designers who would like to design a short dance piece in the Light Lab at the Houston Conference. Designs created by the selected students will be shown in the lab and critiqued by a panel of professional lighting designers. Those interested in participating, are asked to send a resume and cover letter to

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Online Conference Registration Ending

Anyone wishing to utilize USITT's online registration to sign up for the 2008 Annual Conference & Stage Expo must do so before March 2. After that day, while registration will still be possible, it must be done at the USITT Registration area on the third floor of the George R. Brown Convention Center. Onsite registration opens at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 19.

People who complete their registration online receive mail confirmations and may pick up their badges beginning at 3 p.m. Tuesday, March 18.

Click here for complete session information, registration, Professional Development Workshops and Special Regional Events.

Anyone interested in purchasing a ticket to the USITT Awards Banquet, Saturday March 22 at 7 p.m., must do so before 10 a.m. on Wednesday March 19. Banquet tickets will not be available for purchase after that time.

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ETCP Exam Deadline Extended

Deadline to take any of the three paper and pencil Entertainment Technician Certification Program (ETCP) tests offered at USITT's Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Houston, Texas was extended to February 29. To learn more about the test schedule, visit here. Discounts on testing fees, whether paper and pencil or at a testing center, are available for USITT members.

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BTS Challenge Grants at USITT

The ESTA Foundation's Behind the Scenes Program announced three companies have stepped forward as challenge grantors for the Behind the Scenes / Long Reach Long Riders raffle at USITT's Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Houston. Bigger Hammer Production Services, Sapsis Rigging, and Strong Entertainment Lighting's grants allow donors to double their contributions, while providing help to colleagues in a time of need.

Challenge grants are still available for $2,500. The Challenge Grant Program gives companies or individuals the opportunity to show support for their peers in the industry while providing a unique opportunity to be recognized as a leading supporter of this worthy cause.

The more funds raised, the more lives that Behind the Scenes can help put on solid ground, which is something that appealed to Jahn "Boxer" Hardison of Bigger Hammer Production Services.

Behind the Scenes and the Long Reach Long Riders will be raffling off 12 terrific prizes donated by industry members. Behind the Scenes has issued a special thanks to USITT for making their presence at the Annual Conference possible.

For more information about Behind the Scenes, to donate, or to apply for a grant, visit

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Standards Available for Review

Two rigging and two fire safety documents are available for public review through March 17.

Two Rigging Working Group documents dealing with manual rigging systems and fire safety curtain systems are available for public review for free on the ESTA website.

The first is BSR E1.4 - 200x, Entertainment Technology - Manual Counterweight Rigging Systems. The draft standard describes the design and construction of manually powered counterweight rigging systems. The primary purpose of the standard is to enhance the safety of these system, which are used widely in theatres throughout the world to support and move scenery and lighting equipment. The draft standard does not cover motorized systems, systems for flying performers, or systems used for moving materials during building construction.

The second is BSR E1.22-200x, Entertainment Technology - Fire Safety Curtain Systems, which describes the materials, fabrication, installation, operation, testing, and maintenance of fire safety curtains and fire safety curtain systems used for theatre proscenium opening protection. It is a serious attempt to avoid offering a cook-book description of a fire safety curtain system and, instead, to specify how a fire curtain shall perform.

Two fog and smoke documents are also available for public review for free on the ESTA website.

The first is a reaffirmation of the existing ANSI E1.5 - 2003, Entertainment Technology - Theatrical Fog Made With Aqueous Solutions Of Di- And Trihydric Alcohols. The standard describes the composition of theatrical fogs or artificial mists that are not likely to be harmful to healthy performers, technicians, or audience members of normal working age, which is 18 to 64 years of age, inclusive.

The second is a new draft standard, BSR E1.29 - 20XX, Product Safety Standard for Theatrical Fog Generators That Create Aerosols of Water, Aqueous Solutions of Glycol or Glycerin, or Highly Refined Alkane Mineral Oil. The draft standard is intended to help guide product safety testing laboratories in evaluating fog-making equipment for design or construction defects that might create unacceptable hazards.

In addition to being asked to review the documents to see if they offer adequate advice, reviewers are asked to notify ESTA of any protected intellectual property in the draft standards.

For more information, please contact: Karl G. Ruling, Technical Standards Manager, ESTA, 875 Sixth Avenue, Suite 1005, New York, NY 10001, by phone at 212-244-1505 or by e-mail at

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LA Center to Require ETCP Certification

The Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) is the first major west coast convention center to require all its rigging supervisor hires to be certified under ETCP.

In an effort to enhance client and patron safety while meeting the challenges of ever increasing technical demands, LACC has revised its criteria that companies must meet in order to qualify for placement on their list of approved rigging contractors. One of the qualifications is that all rigging supervisors and managers must be ETCP Certified. New vendors must meet these qualifications immediately to be considered for placement, while previously approved vendors have until the end of 2008 to certify their lead riggers.

Thomas Fields, Building Superintendent of Show Operations at the Los Angeles Convention Center, initiated the revision to the center's criteria stating, "We consider public safety to be paramount. We take necessary steps to assure we have prudent procedures and safeguards in place to protect the public." Mr. Fields further added that, "proper knowledge of rigging principals, components, equipment, related engineering, and the application thereof is vital to assuring public safety. With the creation of the ETCP credential, we now have a means of measuring the knowledge of riggers in our industry."

There are three ways employees can receive certification. The exams are available for computer based-testing at one of 190 testing centers around the United States and in Canada. If a company has as few as ten candidates, ETCP can arrange for on-site test administration. The examinations will also be administered in conjunction with the USITT Conference & Stage Expo in March 2008 in Houston, Texas. Those interested in taking the exams at USITT must submit applications by February 29, 2008.

ETCP is led by a council made up by key industry leaders drawn from entertainment business, labor, facilities, associations, and academia representing the diversity of the entertainment industry. Membership includes AMPTP, BASE Entertainment, Cirque du Soleil/MGM MIRAGE, CITT, ESTA, IAAM, IATSE, InfoComm, The League, Live Nation, PRG, TEA, and USITT.

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