Jay O. Glerum

Read Jay O. Glerum's Sightlines TributeGlerum

DOB: 8/16/1939 Location: Washington D.C.
DOD: 6/26/2015 Location: Bothell, Washington



Inducted as a Fellow: 1973

Your earliest memories of the institute…as in how far back do you go?

I was a one person tech department at Marquette University.  We were building a new theatre and our consultant, Bob Brennan suggested that it would be a good thing for me to Join USITT and go to the conference.  He indicated that I might learn something. I joined and went to the conference in St. Louis in 1973. 

The first morning I went down to the meeting room for the free continental breakfast, grabbed a roll and coffee and sat down.  A few minutes later this older gentle man sat down across from me.  We nodded to each other and I strained to make out the name on his badge. (Smaller type then.) It was Harold Burris-Meyer, author of the bible of stage craft and auditorium design at that time.  I was so in awe, I decided the best course of action was to keep my mouth shut.

Does anything stand out as your favorite USITT memory?

The incredible people that I have met at the conferences.  They include Harold Burris-Meyer, Will Bellman, Fred Wolff, Al Cohen, Bernie Weiss, Chuck Levy, Paul Birkle, Jo Mielziner, Gil Helmsley, Jack Suesse, Herb Greggs, Nick Cristy, Randy Davidson, and so many more wonderful people. 

Short list of your career highlights:

  • Technical Director at Seattle University, Marquette University, University of Washington
  • Project Manager and System Designer, Peter Albrecht Corp
  • Honorary Member of Local 80, IATSE
  • Founded the consulting firm of Jay O. Glerum & Associates, Inc. in 1987.

Short list of your various involvement in the institute:

  • Joined in 1973
  • Presenter at every conference since1981.
  • Board of Directors, l980s
  • Technical Production Co--Commissioner and Commissioner, late 1980s
  • Health and Safety Award, 1992
  • Fellow of the Institute, 1995
  • Joel E. Rubin Founder’s Award, 2001

Anything you want to say about being a fellow?

I am extremely proud and humbled to be a member of a group of people who have contributed so much to the entertainment industry and to the institute.

Anything you'd like to add about what the USITT means to you personally?

The Institute has been the major source of my continuing education since I joined in 1973.  I am so thankful to all of those who so willingly shared their knowledge with me over the years.  I am also extremely fortunate to have made so many good friends in the institute.

Your publications?

  • Several articles in TD&T over the years
  • Stage Rigging Handbook

Books you would recommend:

  • The Dramatic Imagination, Robert Edmond Jones
  • The New Science of Strong Materials, J.E. Gordon
  • Structures, or Why Things Don’t Fall Down J. E. Gordon
  • Structural Design for the Stage, Holden & Sammler
  • Mechanical Design for the Stage, Alan Hendrickson
  • What do You Care What Other People Think, Richard P. Feynman

Rick Stephens remembers his good friend Jay Glerum