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For the Record

The USITT student entry in the Prague Quadrennial in 2007 was seen by thousands during the 2008 Annual Conference & Stage Expo. Plans are now being made for the USITT USA Exhibit, a design spectacular that will debut at the Annual Conference & Stage Expo in 2010, travel to Prague in 2011, and then tour the United States.

Photo/Courtesy Sylvia Pannell


USITT USA Design and
Technology Exhibition to
Tour America and Europe

Sylvia Hillyard Pannell
USITT President

The United States Institute for Theater Technology (USITT) recently announced plans to spotlight its upcoming USITT USA Theatrical Design and Technology Exhibit in museums and galleries across the United States. The USITT USA Exhibit will premiere as a centerpiece of USITT's 50th Anniversary Edition of the Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Kansas City, Missouri, March 17 to 21, 2010.

Next stop for the Exhibit will be Prague, Czech Republic as the U.S. entry in the Prague Quadrennial (PQ) 2011, the International Competitive Exhibition of Scenography and Theatre Architecture. Upon returning from PQ, the USITT USA Exhibit, for the first time, will be shown to the American public with a two-year tour to museums and galleries throughout the United States. In addition to the exhibition, the USITT USA Exhibit will offer its spectators and participants a unique platform for encountering the American theatre culture and the work of its artists.

Since 1976, USITT has sponsored, created, and curated theatrical design exhibits for inclusion in the PQ, which has taken place in the Czech capital since 1967. Over the course of its previous ten exhibitions, PQ has become a world-renowned cultural event. The only exhibition of its kind and magnitude in the world, the PQ exhibits contemporary stage designs and theatre architecture.

The USITT USA Exhibit, as with PQ, is not only for theatre and specialized artists. Its goal is to spotlight this specialized art form for the American public and beyond, and provide insights and rare glimpses into the work of theatrical designers and artists. The exhibition will explore the creative processes that generate the imagery and visual excitement experienced in the variety of dramatic forms such as theatre, film, and television. As the American public is informed, often subliminally and certainly on a daily basis, by the work of theatrical design and designers, this exhibit promises to be insightful, exciting, and dazzling!

The exhibit will connect USITT in very tangible ways to both the U.S. and international community of theatre artists and stage designers, and place what we do as theatre artists and members of our profession on display in order to raise public awareness of the unique art form that we practice.

The next USITT USA Exhibit will be an easily adaptable and informative exhibition, and will be shown in art galleries and museums around the United States as well as in the Palace of Industry at the Prague Quadrennial. It will be flexible enough for a variety of exhibit venues and be accompanied by a catalog and educational materials.

These new USITT USA Exhibit plans represent a change of emphasis for this project, from a display planned specifically for the PQ Competitive Design Exhibition and mounted again at USITT's Annual Conference & Stage Expo, toward an exhibit that will reach many more members and non-members in venues across the United States.

USITT believes that by changing past exhibition practices in favor of the USITT USA Exhibit Guidelines, we will serve many more of our members and non-members and, as such we will better fulfill our mission and goals, specifically Goal #1:

USITT will promote the best of design and technology through exhibitions, which are widely distributed to new audiences

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