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Register Now for Costume Symposium

The 2008 USITT Costume Symposium will be held on the campus of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, from July 30 to August 2. Guest artists Janet Bloor, Jeffrey Lieder, Lori Hartenhoff, and Colleen Muscha will lead hands-on workshops in fabric modification. Registrations are being accepted until May 15, and the symposium is limited to 40 participants. A waiting list will be created if demand requires. Click here for a pdf of the Costume Symposium brochure and registration form or contact the USITT office at 315-463-6463 or 800-938-7488 to register.

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Rigging Distribution & Floors Standards

Four draft standards are available for public review on the ESTA website through 26 May 2008. All can be downloaded for free at The draft standards address specific problems found in powered rigging, electrical power distribution, and floors used in live performances and special events.

BSR E1.6-2 - 200x, Entertainment Technology - Purpose Designed Serially Manufactured Electric Chain Hoists for the Entertainment Industry, is part of the BSR E1.6 powered theatrical rigging systems project. This document, BSR E1.6-2, covers the design, inspection, and maintenance of serially manufactured electric chain hoists having capacities of two tons or less and used in the entertainment industry as part of a performance or preparation for a performance. Most standards for powered hoists are for hoists in factories, shipyards, and warehouses, and do not give advice appropriate the safe use of hoists in theatrical productions and special events. This standard is a first step in addressing this lack of appropriate guidance.

BSR E1.18-1 - 200x, Standard for the Selection, Installation, and Use of Single-Conductor Portable Power Feeder Cable Systems for Use at Less than 601 Volts Nominal for the Distribution of Electrical Energy in the Entertainment and Live-Event Industries, is part of a larger E1.18 project to offer guidance on portable power feeder cable systems. There is very little published at this time on how to set up power feeder cable systems, such as are used to power the lighting and sound systems at concerts in sporting arenas. The E1.18 project is to address that lack of guidance to help people set up and use safe systems. This part, E1.18-1, contains the majority of the recommendations, suitable for most common portable power distribution installations.

BSR E1.19 - 200x, Recommended Practice for the use of Class A Ground- Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) intended for personnel protection in the Entertainment Industry, recommends practices for the safe use of 100 amp or lower, 120-240 VAC, single or three-phase, 60 Hz Class A Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) for personnel protection in film and video productions, theatrical productions, carnivals, circuses, fairs and similar events in North America. GFCIs are useful for protecting performers and technicians from shock when electrical equipment is used near or in water, but using them successfully is difficult in entertainment industry applications due to the nature of the loads that are driven, the prevalence of dimmed circuits, and the long load-circuit runs. BSR E1.19 gives advice to help people use GFCIs successfully to protect performers and technicians from shock in wet and damp locations.

BSR E1.34 - 200x, Entertainment Technology - Measuring and Specifying the Slipperiness of Floors Used in Live Performance Venues, describes a means of measuring and specifying the slipperiness of floor surfaces used by performers in live entertainment venues. The slipperiness of a stage floor or dance floor is a concern to performers, directors, choreographers, designers, stage managers--almost the whole production team--but there is at this time no good way to objectively describe the slipperiness of a performance floor. BSR E1.34 is a standard to solve this problem. It has two test procedures in it: one to give a generic measurement that can be used in marketing and specifying floor materials, and another to measure a floor's slipperiness in real-world conditions with particular footwear. The test equipment and method are intended to be simple and inexpensive. The standard is not for normal walking surfaces (for which appropriate standards already exist), but only to those floor surfaces used by actors, dancers, and other similar artists, when performing before an audience.

For more information, please contact: Karl G. Ruling, ESTA Technical Standards Manager, at 212-244-1505 or e-mail

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