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For the Record

Key USITT members who helped bring the USITT Prague Quadrennial USA 2007 National Exhibit to the National Performing Arts Convention are, from left, Tim Kelly, Denver Center for the Performing Arts; Sandy Bonds, USITT VP for International Activities and PQ Commissioner; Susan Tsu, one of the exhibit's curators; and Robert Scales, Exhibit Tour Director. Not pictured is Tom Korder, Exhibits Project Manager.

Photo/Bill Byrnes


PQ USA 2007 Exhibits
Wows NPAC in Denver

Sandy Bonds
VP for International Activities

The last public appearance of the USITT Prague Quadrennial USA 2007 National Exhibit was during the National Performing Arts Convention (NPAC) held in Denver, Colorado June 11 to 14.

NPAC is a consortium of non-profit arts organizations across the disciplines of dance, music, opera, and theatre. The Denver convention was its second quadrennial combined meeting designed to realize the common goals that cross over the individual disciplines such as education, creativity, audience development, and new technologies. "Taking Action Together" was the theme with the purpose of building a foundation for future cross-disciplinary collaboration and advocacy. Among the organizations attending were Dance/USA, Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of America, National Performance Network, OPERA America, Theatre Communications Group, and University/Resident Theatre Association.

Photo/Sandy Bonds

The USITT PQ USA 2007 National Exhibit was a major presence in the exhibition hall at NPAC, introducing USITT, the Prague Quadrennial, and the work of 100 designers to a new and very appreciative audience of performing arts colleagues. Artistic directors, directors, producers, and board members from theatre and opera companies were among the visitors who eagerly perused the display. Peter Bilotta of the Portland Opera noted, "The exhibit was the highlight of the conference. It was thrilling to imagine these designs on stage."

Another ardent devotee, Clinton Turner Davis, associate artistic director of the New Federal Theatre and professor at Colorado College, exclaimed, "I have been waiting for my goose bump moment here, and this is it. This exhibit should be required viewing."

Viewers delighted in the innovation observed in the production designs, in recognizing productions they had attended, and in viewing the work of designers they had worked with on productions with their companies. One artistic director, who lingered in the exhibit longer than most, described the display as a "shopping mall for designers," a potential bonus for those whose work was included in the exhibit.

Tim Kelly and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts were instrumental in bringing the exhibit to the convention and providing both financial support and volunteers to help with the set-up and strike. Generous contributions also came from D. L Adams Associates, Barbizon Light of the Rockies, Design Works, and Randal and Jean Martines. Tom Korder and Bob Scales headed the assembly team with assistance from Bill Brewer, Susan Tsu, Dick Devin, and a dedicated team of technicians from the Denver Center led by Brook Nichols.

The exhibit has now been viewed by the 23,000 visitors of the Prague Quadrennial, the thousands of members of USITT attending the Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Houston, and some of the 3,500 registrants at the NPAC gathering. The 2007 exhibit has now returned to the Krannert Center at the University of Illinois for dismantling. The Steering Committee for 2011 has already begun deliberations for planning the next exhibit to highlight and celebrate theatre design across the country.

Photo/Sandy Bonds

A cross-section of the other organizations which participated in the National Performing Arts Convention were: Alternate Roots, American Association of Community Theatre, Americans for the Arts, Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Creative Capital, Dance/USA, The Future of Music Coalition, Grantmakers in the Arts, International Society for the Performing Arts, Music Critics Association of North America, National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, OPERA America, and Theatre Communications Group.

Photo/Sandy Bonds


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