Available online learning


Variable room acoustics has been a topic of big interest throughout the last years. This session starts with some general background information on acoustics for theatre and vent, before focusing on practical issues for materials and solutions on site. By the use of fabrics installed as curtains or roll banners it is possible to dramatically change the acoustics of a venue due to different events taking place in one and the same room. Choosing the suiting material and using it in the right amount and correct installation can improve the acoustics event more. In addition, bass absorbing materials can be added to control the overall sound.



Presenter: Jonas Schira, is head of the acoustics department at the Gerriets headquarters in Germany and is responsible for the product development, project management, sales and marketing activities in the field of acoustics. He holds a BA in audio engineering and has several years of experience as a room acoustics expert, live musician, and audio engineer. While the field of expertise covers many room acoustic related aspects, the main focus of his work in the industry is on variable acoustics for multipurpose rooms. He has been presenting at many national and international conferences, such as the USITT, FORUM ACOUSTICUM in Boston, DAGA and many more. Jonas Schira is a part of the ISO working group for a new room acoustics standard as well as head of the room acoustics group for the Association of German Sound Engineers.


An introduction to, and summary of, the draft of the new recommendations for sound system documentation for theatre. Prepared over the previous 2+ years, with the input and collaboration of Broadway designers, touring designers, educators, and more, this major expansion of the extant recommendations addresses (for the first time) all of the standard paperwork forms needed to document a contemporary sound system design.




Todd Proffitt teaches Lighting Design, Sound Design and Computer Technologies for the Department of Theatre and Dance at the State University of New York at Fredonia. As well as creates lighting Designs for the Theatre of Youth Company in Buffalo NY.

DeMara Tamsel Cabrera is the Costume Designer and Instructor for the Theatre Arts Department at Oregon State University. She received her BA in Drama from Stanford University in 2004 and her MFA from Boston University in 2013. DeMara worked as an Assistant Professor at Central Connecticut State University for two years. She has also worked as an Instructor, Designer, and Costume Shop Manager at Linfield College (2007). Favorite credits include: Shakespeare in Love (OSU), Romeo and Juliet (Bard in the Quad), The Dialogues of the Carmelites (Huntington Theatre and Boston University Opera Institute), Angels in America and Hair (Playhouse on Park in West Hartford, CT), A Servant of Two Masters (CCSU), Women in Congress (Linfield College).

Demara Tamsel website, Demara Tamsel Facebook portfolio

Annmarie Duggan is a Professor and Chair of the Theatre Arts Department at the University of Pittsburgh. She holds an MFA from University of Arizona in Lighting Design. Annmarie is a freelance Lighting Designer and Production Manager. Her 12 years of New York based lighting design includes the Off Broadway shows: Jolson & Co. (Century Center) Syria America (Greenwich Street Theatre), Clue The Musical (Players Theatre). Regional Theatre includes: American Girl Place Theatre in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York, Orlando Repertory Theatre, Capital Repertory Theatre, Foothills Theatre, Maine State Music Theatre, Seaside Music Theatre, Cumberland County Playhouse, Utah Musical Theatre, Pittsburgh Playhouse, Florida Rep, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Skylight Opera, Stoneham Theatre Company, Coconut Grove Playhouse, Alabama Shakespeare, and St. Michaels Playhouse. Other credits include Production Manager for American Girl Place in both New York and Los Angeles.


Freelance designers and individual artists have unique proximity to the heartbeat of the theatre field. They work at numerous venues each season, in many cases over multiple years and multiple visits, thus experiencing a variety of institutional cultures first hand. However, unlike Actors Equity, there are no industry-wide standards for engaging freelance artists. How can institutions incorporate the learning and experience of the freelance artists they hire more deeply into their organization’s fabric, acknowledging the invaluable nature of their vantage point? Especially during this time when the entire field is on a forced pause. In this session, we explore how guest artists are welcomed and valued by the institutions that invite them through their doors. We will discuss implementing industry-wide standards, creating sustainable feedback loops, recommended best practices sourced from the community at large, and how we can move forward as a community.




Porsche McGovern is a lighting designer. She designed Skeleton Crew and We Are Proud to Present... (Playmakers Repertory Company), A Single Shard (People's Light and Theatre Company), The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). In New York, she designed Mothers (Playwrights Realm), Bureau of Missing Persons (Neighborhood Productions), Ghetto Babylon (Dramatic Question Theatre), many shows with Spookfish Theatre Company, among others. She has an MFA from California Institute for the Arts and a BA from St. Lawrence University. She is also a researcher, concentrating on designers in regional theatres.

Deb Sivigny: As a costume and scenic designer, Deb Sivigny has worked on over thirty world premieres with Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Theater J, Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences, Imagination Stage, The Source Festival, Young Playwrights Theatre, The Hub, Studio Theatre 2nd Stage, and Rorschach Theatre where she has been a company member since 2006. She has also designed for Round House Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, Everyman Theatre, Signature Theatre, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Rep Stage, Adventure Theatre, Shakespeare Theater’s Academy for Classical Acting, 1stStage, Keegan Theatre, Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, Opera Vivente, WSC Avant Bard, Flying V, DC and Seattle Fringe Festivals, Peridance, Dance Elixir and Tia Nina, among others. She is a member of the second generation of The Welders, where she served as Lead Producing Playwright for her work Hello, My Name Is… Set in a house, she designed and created environments that channeled the lives of Korean adoptees.

David Bengali is a projection and lighting designer based in New York. He has designed theater, opera, and dance Off-Broadway, Regionally, and internationally, and has worked as an associate designer on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Regionally. Recent design credits include: The Great Leap (Atlantic Theater Company); Van Gogh’s Ear (Ensemble for the Romantic Century - Drama Desk Nomination); Frankenstein (Dallas Theater Center); Rockin' Road To Dublin (National Tour); Assembled Identity (HERE); Uncommon Sense (Tectonic Theater Project); The Temple Bombing (Alliance Theatre); Conference of the Birds (Boston Center for the Arts); SPILL (Ensemble Studio Theatre); Anna Akhmatova (ERC/BAM), Jules Verne From The Earth To The Moon (ERC/BAM); Ring of Fire (Endstation Theatre); The Tempest (Classic Stage Company/The Young Company); Kill Me Like You Mean It (Stolen Chair); Two Point Oh (59E59); I Forgive You Ronald Reagan, The Sensational Josephine Baker (Theatre Row); The Orion Experience (XL).

Katherine Freer is a multimedia designer working in theater, installation, and film. Frequent collaborations include Liz Leman, Ping Chong, Ty Defoe, Carl Cofield, Tim Bond Kamilah Forbes, Talvin Wilks, Andrew Scoville, and Tamilla Woodard. Recent designs: Ajijaak on Turtle Island (New Victory, dir. Ty Defoe and Heather Henson), By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (Signature Theater, dir. Kamilah Forbes), the Convent (ArtNY, dir. Daniel Talbott), Antigone (Richard Rogers Amphitheater, dir. Carl Cofield), Cellular Songs (BAM Harvey, by Meredith Monk), Next to Normal (Syracuse Stage, dir. Bob Hupp), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (Syracuse Stage, dir. Risa Brainin). Katherine is a proud member of USA829 and Wingspace Theatrical Design.


What is an associate designer? What is an assistant? Learn the difference and tricks of the trade. Presented by the Sound Design & Technology Commission.




Brad Berridge is a sound artist, designer, and educator. His theatrical sound designs and original compositions have been heard in theaters across the USA. His work as Creative Director for the sound art collective, Push The Button, has been heard across the USA and Eastern Europe. He has taught at Indiana University, Williams College, and the University of Cincinnati's College Conservatory of Music (CCM). Brad is a member of USA 829, TSDCA and an Associate Artist for WAM Theatre. Currently, Brad is the Director of Sound Operations for Feld Entertainment.

Beth Lake- Beth works on a wide variety of projects, though she has discovered a particular fondness for creating new, text-based works. Since moving to NYC, she has created a solid network of collaborators and creators. Beth is also often behind the tech table as an Associate designer for many of Broadway's best designers.

Joanna Lynne Staub (Sound Designer) Off-Broadway: The Public Theater, Ensemble Studio Theatre, WP Theatre, 59E59 and NY Theatre Workshop. Regional: ACT of CT, Alliance Theatre, 5th Avenue Theatre, Goodman Theatre, The Hangar Theatre, Kansas City Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, The Nashville Children’s Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Seattle Rep. Classical: St. Louis and New Jersey Symphonies. Television: NBC – Live! The Sound of Music, Peter Pan and The Wiz. Ms. Staub has extensive credits associate designing and engineering Broadway and national touring companies.

Brad Ward is an award-winning theatrical sound designer and Broadway associate with more than 25 years of professional theatre and consulting experience. Brad is a Senior Associate at Auerbach Pollock Friedlander, a leading theatrical consulting firm. He was Associate Sound Designer for CHOIR BOY which received the 2019 Tony Award for Best Sound Design for a Play. Formerly, Brad served as lead audio-technician for The Beatles, LOVE by Cirque du Soleil and Assistant Professor of Audio Engineering Technology and Belmont University in Nashville. He is a Vice Commissioner of sound for USITT and is the curator for OISTAT’s Sound Kitchen 2021 at World Stage Design. Brad holds an MFA in Sound Design from Yale School of Drama. Please visit


Wireless microphone dropouts can significantly impact your production (and stress level!). Join Ben Escobedo of the Shure Pro Market Development team as he addresses common RF issues, how to avoid them, and tips on optimizing your workflow. Participants are encouraged to come with questions in order to talk about common experiences and guide the conversation. Ben will also cover some of the learning resources that Shure offers.



Presenter: Ben Escobedo is a Senior Market Development Specialist at Shure. He focuses on professional audio, with an emphasis on theater and broadcast in the New York City area. As an audio professional, he often presents and discusses on wireless best practices, spectrum issues, and microphone optimization.


This presentation covers various ways to sanitize microphones.



Presenter: Joe Cota: With a background as a worship pastor and vocalist, Joe can offer a few words of wisdom on the topic of sound. Check-in with Joe if you need some feedback on fighting feedback! He may even sing you his version of "Can't stop the feelin'" if you're happy with the results: "I got that sunshine in my pocket; Got that good soul in my feet."