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News & Notices
News From:
Conference & Stage Expo
For the Record
Free Internet at Millennium in Cincy

As a special “thank you” to USITT guests who stay at the Millennium Hotel in Cincinnati, Ohio for the 2009 Annual Conference & Stage Expo, the hotel is providing free internet connections. To qualify, guests should book their rooms before the close of USITT’s housing block on February 12. The lower room rates negotiated for USITT are available to those who take advantage of booking using USITT’s online tool here. A paper form which can be mailed or faxed is available by calling 800-938-7488, ext 101.

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Teenagers! Trikes! Yikes!

The Mt. Vernon Sr. High Chapter of USITT announces its third annual Short Reach Short Riders benefit trike race to be held on Saturday May 9, 2009. Teams of high school and college students will be competing in sprints, relays and the Enduro (.6 mile). Team sponsorships are available for $100 per team or $25 for individual riders. The Indiana high school has seen increased interest each year that the race day has been held. It benefits Behind the Scenes.

Individuals or companies interested in sponsorships or donations can contact chapter sponsor Dana Taylor at 812-833-5932 or

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Team Teaching at Madison Square Garden

Madison Square Garden staff members and IATSE Local 1 riggers had a special treat when Rocky Paulson and Bill Sapsis, two of the leading rigging instructors in the United States, conducted a three-day master class at MSG.

Since the event covered both arena and theatrical styles of rigging and emphasized problem solving, Rocky admitted that "the math can get a little heavy at times but these guys stuck with it. They did a great job." The class also drop-tested a 220 pound weight to simulate a technician falling off a truss. "The forces involved in arresting a fall can be very surprising," Bill observed, "and the results bring home the importance of having the right fall protection equipment."

"Rocky and I haven't held a class together since 1994" noted Bill. "Up to now our schedules just never lined up. Rocky is the consummate teacher and his attention to detail is awesome."

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Ursela Belden

Noted designer Ursula Belden died January 14, 2009 in New York. Ms. Belden was extremely active in USITT, including co-designing the National exhibit for the United States entry in the 2003 Prague Quadrennial.

She was an alternate US delegate to OISTAT, and an active member of USITT. Belden co-designed the American National exhibit for the 2003 Prague Quadrennial, designed the student installation for PQ 2007, and designed the first World Stage Design Exhibit in Toronto in 2005.

Her designs were seen from Broadway to local theatres. In addition to her professional design work, Ms. Belden was a Distinguished Professor of Theater and head of the Production Design Program at Ohio University's School of Theater. She received her Master of Fine Arts from theYale School of Drama in 1976 and was a member of United Scenic Artists 829.

A more complete remembrance of Ms. Belden will appear in the March issue of Sightlines.

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