May, 2012 Issue   

Late Night Musings from the Chair




Section Notices

  • NBS Fall Conference- Sept 7&8
Newsletter Archive Links

  • Time to Renew Your Membership?

People, Places and Happenings

 • Productions Around the Region


Who's Minding the Store?


Resources & Info

  • Member Renewal Form
  • Mission & Information


USITT National Conference- A Goldmine… Fascinating… and Educational!

    Hello and thank you from Kirsten Lerohl, the flattered and fortunate recipient of the “Doughnut Scholarship.” I am a theatre student at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, graduating this spring with my kirstenAFA, and planning to transfer to Minnesota State University, Mankato to pursue a BFA in Theatre Design and Technology in costuming. I am most pleased to report on my experiences at USITT’s National Conference this year in Long Beach, California.
     I spent most of my time in sessions over the week, so I’d like to start out by sharing some of my experiences with my favorites. “An Introduction to Patterning Costume Design Details” was very much the most useful session I attended during the conference. I couldn’t take notes fast enough. It was a total goldmine of visual aids and helpful tips geared towards young and beginning designers. The absolutely most fascinating and informative session, and my personal favorite, was “Back to the Beach: The History of Swimwear.” Period swimwear is not something often explored in theatrical costumes, so nearly all of it was new to me, and by the time it was over, I was itching to get my machine buzzing with a period swimsuit project. At one point, a session that I had intended on going to had been moved up in time, and I didn’t get the memo in time until it was too late and I had missed it. Thus arose the perfect opportunity to branch out and try something new during my newly opened time slot. I jumped in Giorgio Koukoumas’ presentation of his lighting work.  It was absolutely gorgeous, and the way he talked about lighting made it seem so simple, kind of in the way a dancer can be so skilled that they make their routines look easy. My respect and admiration for what lighting can accomplish on stage has grown tenfold by learning about and watching Mr. Koukoumas’ designs and ideas.
    The Stage Expo was a fabulous experience. Between the copious numbers of fliers and swag and the beautiful student design displays, there was no limit to the learning and networking to be done. Over the week I spent some time picking up informational brochures and talking to representatives from universities with MFA programs, as I am considering going farther in my education after earning my BFA. One specific valuable experience I had at the expo was at the Smooth-On Inc. booth. After looking at their display and seeing what could be done with molding, I was uber-inspired to explore its potential applications in makeup effects and costumes.
     The USITT National conference was truly beneficial to me and an invaluable experience. I learned so much and met so many new and interesting people, not to mention that I took away a lot of enjoyment and inspiration from the work of my fellow designers and students. As my closing statement, I would like to extend an enormous thank-you to the selection committee and to all of the NBS meeting attendees and contributors for their doughnut-less support in making this conference trip a reality for me.

See you in Milwaukee!

With sincere gratitude,
Kirsten Lerohl