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Conference & Stage Expo
For the Record
The Celebration is Just a Moment Away

Carl Lefko
USITT President

Are you ready for USITT's future?

In Kansas City from March 31 to April 3, we will have an opportunity to see what is in store for the years ahead. We will celebrate the design and technological innovations of the past half-century and those designers and technicians who created them.

As we come together for our 50th Annual Conference & Stage Expo, we are both anticipating change and staying true to our core values, a difficult and rewarding task.

For 2010, we’ve changed the way “we’ve always done it” by starting each day with a blockbuster event, (Sally Struthers, Oscar Brockett and colleagues, Jennifer Tipton, and Francois Leroux) and wrapping up the whole Conference with an Anniversary Party and celebratory toast to which all are invited.

It is always difficult to choose which among many outstanding sessions to attend. Our Conference Committee and Commissions have made that task even more difficult for 2010. We have sessions highlighting the newest performing arts facilities, like the Kaufman Center which is currently under construction in Kansas City, trends in design and equipment, and the latest goodies at Stage Expo. At the same time, we celebrate those who have gone before with a new book featuring 25 of America’s best designers, now deceased, which will be introduced at this Conference.

Stage Expo is different for 2010, starting on Wednesday and ending on Friday this year. Stage Expo will open after the conclusion of our daily blockbuster, remain open later each day to allow extra time to visit and catch up on the newest offerings from our Contributing, Sustaining, and Supporting members.

Our esteemed Past Presidents will be on hand Wednesday evening following the Fellows Address (by Dr. Joel E. Rubin, founder, Fellow and USITT’s second President) to pass the gavel and bridge five decades to our President-Elect Joe Aldridge, who will take over July 1 and lead us into the future.

For some, this is their first Conference. I hope you feel welcome and ask lots of questions, get involved, and come back time and again.

For others, past Conference locations string together like beads in a chain – was it in Pittsburgh that Joseph Svoboda was featured? do you remember the Calgary Conference and the trip to Banff? where were we when we talked so late that the bartender closed the place around us? I hope you renew old friendships and take the time to make new connections.

Most of all, I hope we all find that the 2010 Annual Conference & Stage Expo is more than a celebration, more than information, and is a memorable platform from which we can launch our bright future.

See you in Kansas City.

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Carl Lefko

Photo/R. Finklestein