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Debra Krajec, right, is introduced as a new fellow by Richard Arnold, left, during the 2008 Annual Conference & Stage Expo. Current USITT Fellows are in the background.

Photo/Richard Finkelstein


Debra Krajec, New Fellow

Introduction by Richard Arnold
USITT Fellow

It is my great honor to introduce Debra Krajec as a new Fellow of the Institute.

Debra is a multi-talented theatre artist. She is a costume designer, a play director, an Equity card actress, and a respected educator. So it is not surprising that as an educator, she believes in the liberal arts approach in training theatre artists and that she encourages her students to develop skills in several areas of theatre for in-depth understanding of theatre production and to increase their employment possibilities.

Debra is a BFA and MFA graduate in theatre from Texas Christian University. She is a member of the theatre faculty at Marquette University in Milwaukee. As its costume designer, she has designed over 60 productions at Marquette.

Professionally, she has designed for such companies as Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, the Shaw Festival at the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, the Next Act Theatre, the Northern Stage Company, Theatre Tesseract, Porthouse Theatre, Western Texas College, Kent State University, and groups in Wisconsin and Fort Worth, Texas.

She also heads the directing program at Marquette and has directed over 20 productions there. She has directed for such professional companies as the In Tandem Theatre, the Playwright's Theatre, and the Casa Manana Playhouse.

Deb has played major leadership roles in USITT. On the regional level, she has contributed much to the Midwest Regional Section. This has included serving on the Section's Executive Board (1990-1997) and her tenure as Chair of the Section (1994-1996). For her extensive service to the Section, she has received the section's Founder's Award, the highest honor awarded by the Midwest Regional Section.

On the national level, Debra has been a Department Chair and Co-Editor of Cutter's Research Journal (1990-1997). She has served as Vice-Commissioner (1996) and Commissioner of the Costume Design & Technology Commission (1997-2000). She has chaired many costume conference panels and five Costume Symposia, and organized the Costume Commission's Traveling Programs to enhance Section activities. She was a member of the Membership Committee (1994-1997) and currently serves on the Awards Committee and the Nominations Committee.

She is in her third term as a USITT Director at Large on the Board of Directors. As reported in the January issue of Sightlines (story here) her husband, David, also plays a leadership role in the Institute. In fact, Debra and David may be the first husband and wife team ever to serve together on the Board of Directors.

Debra has been recognized with honors for her costume design and directing. At Marquette she has received the Dean's Award for Outstanding Service in her college (1983) and the Dean's Recognition Award for Outstanding Teaching (1999). She attended the 1995 Prague Quadrennial.

USITT Fellows elected six new members who were announced at the 2008 Annual Conference. The introductions of Pete Happe, and Richard Thomas also appear in this issue. The introductions of Joe Aldridge, Jerry Gorrell, and Bobbi Owen appeared in the April issue.

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