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new usitt fellows
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Conference & Stage Expo
For the Record

Laura Crow was one of four new Fellows inducted into the ranks of the august group as part of USITT’s 2009 Annual Conference & Stage Expo. Zelma Weisfeld gave the introductory remarks for Ms. Crow.

Photo/Tom Thatcher

Laura Crow, New Fellow

Zelma H. Weisfeld

I first met our next inductee when she joined the faculty at The University of Michigan as costume designer two years after I retired, during which time the MFA program in design had disintegrated to zero students.

She quickly rebuilt the program in costume design and was able to attract excellent students. She also brought in designers, such as the distinguished British scenographer Pamela Howard, for seminars.

From Michigan, she moved to the University of Connecticut where she still teaches. There she recruits outstanding young students from countries such as the former Yugoslavia. Several have won the USITT Costume Design & Technology Award sponsored by Zelma H. Weisfeld. She also designs professionally and carries out a series of projects, any one of which could be a full time job.

She is active in the Costume Design & Technology Commission, and with a grant from USITT recently started the Fine Arts Digital Media Archive. In addition to being a presenter at conferences, she brought three prominent Cuban Costume designers to the New Orleans conference, several of whom have returned. An active reviewer for USITT's Project 2000, she also organized public portfolio critiques for student members. She co-chaired the Young Designers’ Forum for five years, was co-chair of the PQ Schools Exhibit in 1999, 2003, and 2007. She was the costume curator for the 2007 PQ. Her contributions to the projects were substantial. She also was active and strongly contributed to the success of World Design 2005.

Professionally she is an award-wining Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional theatre costume designer, including working in Chicago and San Francisco.

Just to keep from being bored, she is active internationally as Chair of the Costume Working Group for OISTAT, which meets worldwide. She organized the international Carnival Symposium in Cuba and an International Textile Symposium in the Philippines, and was a Fulbright Scholar to the Philippines to explore multi-ethnic influences on Costume.

I could go on, but time does not allow, and my eyes grow misty thinking about how I have wasted my time and career.

Laura, I don't know how you do it, but we are all grateful that you do it and grateful as well for your never ending cheerfulness and willingness to share. I am honored to present you to the Fellows and to the members of the Institute.

Laura Crow was one of four new Fellows to be inducted in a ceremony at the 2009 Annual Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. The honorary designation is given to those selected by vote of the current Fellows and is bestowed for life upon those members who have made a truly outstanding contribution to the theatre and the work of the Institute.

Click their names to read the introductory remarks about the other new Fellows, Louis Bradfield, Carl Lefko, and Bill Sapsis.

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