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New USITT Fellows
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Conference & Stage Expo
For the Record

Joe Aldridge, left, received his Fellows plaque after being inducted into this august group. Richard D. Stephens, right, presented the plaque and also gave the introductory remarks for Mr. Aldridge.

Photo/Casey Kearns


Six New Fellows Named

At the 2008 Annual Conference, six individuals were named Fellows of the Institute. In this issue of Sightlines, we are including the remarks made to introduce three of these individuals: Joe Aldridge, Jerry Gorrell, and Bobbi Owen.

Each of the new Fellows is selected in voting by the current Fellows, and was introduced by a Fellow.

The introductory remarks for Debra Krajec, Pete Happe, and Richard Thomas will be included in the May issue.

The Institute offers its sincerest congratulations to all those chosen to receive this honor.

Joe Aldridge

Richard Stephens
USITT Fellow

Fellow of the Institute is the honorary designation bestowed for life upon those members who have made a truly outstanding contribution to both the profession of theatre and the work of the Institute.

This criteria, coupled with the fact that candidates are voted upon by the current body of Fellows, constitutes a recognition by one's peers of the highest professional honor. Tonight's inductees continue this tradition, as all are outstanding examples of the highest standards in professional accomplishments and Institute service, and we are very proud to welcome them to our ranks. We should also mention that the names of new Fellows are kept confidential until announced here this evening, adding to the drama of the of the induction ceremony.

It is my honor to present the first of six new Fellows to be welcomed by the Institute. We have promised brevity, so here are the high points of a very illustrious career:

Contributions to the work of the Institute

Our first new Fellow has been active in the Institute since the 1985 New York City Conference & Stage Expo. He was a member of the first National Conference Committee in Pittsburgh and served as Conference Chair for the 1995 Las Vegas Conference, welcoming all of us to one of the more memorable conferences in the history of the Institute. As with many conference committee members and chairs, the Institute soon sucked him into high and holy office!

He has served two terms as director-at-large on the Board of Directors, Vice President for Special Operations, and currently is in his second term as Vice President for Conferences.

Recently he has been instrumental in establishing training and testing programs in the Institute's continuing collaboration with ESTA. In this role he continues to represents USITT on the Certification Council of the Entertainment Technician Certification Program, the governing body of ETCP.

Contributions to the Theatre/Performing Arts:

He has been teaching at University of Nevada Las Vegas since 1974 and served as technical director for the department from 1985 to 2005. During that time, he established the MFA degree in technical direction. Recently, he co-founded an exciting new interdisciplinary BS degree that combines coursework and experience from the College of Fine Arts and the College of Engineering into a degree in entertainment engineering and design. He currently serves as coordinator of that program.

He has been a member of IATSE local 720 since 1975 and serves as a trustee for the Nevada Resort Association/IATSE local 720 Training Trust. And in his non-existent, copious spare time, he freelances as a lighting designer and event coordinator.

Please join me in welcoming our accomplished colleague, my very good friend, and a son of the Great State of Texas as our newest Fellow of the Institute. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Joe Aldridge.

USITT Fellows elected six new members who were announced at the 2008 Annual Conference. The introductions of Jerry Gorrell and Bobbi Owen also appear in this issue. Look for the introductions of Pete Happe, Debra Krajec, and Richard Thomas in the May issue.

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