May 2011 Issue   

Late Night Musings from the Chair


•  Education Panels at Charlotte
Learning Through Helping
USITT National Conference 2011
Iowa's Diverse Cultures Explored
Medieval Mystery Play Staging



  • Schuler Shook
Gopher Stage Lighting
  • Contributing, Sustaining & Organizational Members


Section Notices

  • Websites and Digital Portfolios Needed
  • Time to Renew Your Membership?

Production Casebook

Dance Fans for White Christmas

Who's Minding the Store?


Resources & Info

  • Member Renewal Form
  • Mission & Information


USITT National Conference 2011

by Phil Jorgensen, St. John's University, Collegeville, MN

    Flying at night is always enjoyable because of the beautiful layout of lights below. As a lighting designer and stage electrician, that sight always fills me with awe, and the trip to the USITT 2011 conference was philno exception. With the weather in Minnesota at the time, it was a pleasure to leave my winter coat behind and to seldom have to wear a jacket while in Charlotte. Even the rain was preferable to yet more snow. One of the most fascinating sights for me was the flowers that were planted around Charlotte, and the realization that in this place, spring has arrived.
With spring’s arrival, there are the usual associations of new life and a fresh start, and this year’s conference was indicative of this transformation. Amazing new technologies abounded, especially with LED instruments. They are not quite good enough to be widely adopted for use on stage, but there are plenty of options available for everyday use, which has many applications for sustainability in theaters. Learning about LED technology and what to look for in an LED light source is a great experience, and I find myself frequently referring to the indicative elements that were laid out in the sessions. Other new technologies and gadgets on the expo floor that caught my attention were brought byflowers others to show off, such as the jigs and Cover the Walls exhibits. It is always fun to see the work of others and how they overcame problems to bring a beautiful design to the stage, and this year was no exception.
    The most important reason I attended the conference, however, was to see and hear leading industry professionals share their wisdom and experiences during the scheduled sessions. Sessions I attended include “Marketing in the Digital World/ Social Media for Lighting Designers;” Capitalizing on Convergence,” a session devoted to lighting designers on stage and in architecture; and “Lighting with Limited Resources.” There were many more sessions that I attended from several different areas, but the majority was connected to lighting design. As a graduating senior, I appreciated all of the information relevant to starting a career and getting my name out in the field. Additionally, I found the sessions a great way to gain information about an area that interested me, or to learn new techniques for solving problems encountered.
    I am extremely grateful to Secoa for sponsoring my scholarship to attend the conference, as it would have not happened had they not provided the aid that they did. The conference was a terrific aid in preparing for graduation this spring, and I will be able to pass on much of the information I learned to the other students at my university to aid them as well. An awe inspiring experience from start to finish, the national USITT conference of 2011 was definitely a success.

(ed. note: Phil received an NBS Scholarship supported by SECOA)secoa