USITT Webinars

Watch News@Noon live on Zoom and Facebook Live, and catch our new "Lessons Learned" series throughout the month of June!

news at noon

USITT News@Noon webinars are replacing our New@Noon series and will broadcast live every Tuesday and Thursday at Noon EDT on Zoom and Facebook Live! News@Noon will provide you the latest and most up-to-date Industry news, give you a behind-the-scenes look at everything USITT, and keep you up to date on all things related to our 2021 Conference and Stage Expo coming up March 2021 in Columbus, OH.

These webinars are streamed live on Zoom, as well as on USITT's Facebook page. For Facebook Live, head over to our Facebook page, and the webinar will be the featured video when it goes live. To watch on Zoom, click here; no advanced registration is required.

To watch the recordings of our previous New@Noon webinars, CLICK HERE.



The Forum@Four series is essentially taking a selection of curated sessions and translating them to a virtual environment. These webinars are brought to you by the various USITT commissions and other industry experts, and presenters will be available during the sessions to answer questions that participants may have.

These webinars are held live on Zoom and require advanced registration.

Wednesday, June 10 — Introduction into Stage Automation

Webinar Description: This Webinar will cover the Basics of Stage Automation. We will begin with the most important aspect of Automation namely safety. Then move into the physics of moving scenery or other objects on, over, and under the stage. This will include Force, Work, Power, and Torque. We will cover the basics of all machine components and see how they are implemented in Stage Automation. Later in the session, we will begin to look at machinery design and fabrication.

This webinar is FREE for USITT members, and $10 for non-members.

Presenter: John (Jack) Miller

  • MFA Southern Illinois University
  • 33 Years at UNCSA in technical Production
  • 9 Years at Florida State University School of Theatre
  • PRG, New Windsor NY Engineering, North Carolina Scenic Studies, Showmotion, Norwalk CT,
  • I Weiss New York NY, J.R. Clancy NY, National Tours of Broadway Shows
  • Holder of Two Patents, Member of Griffith Volunteer Fire Department 22 years, Responder to 911 Sort
  • IATSE member for 40 years

Advanced Registration Link: Click Here

education and training

Lessons Learned

Jenn Schwartz from the University of Maryland, School of Theatre, Dance, & Performance Studies, and Jason Wells from Bard College Theatre each recently had a show move from live and in-person to online. Over three sessions they will share the lessons they learned about technology, roles of staff, and processes for rehearsal and performance.

This three-part series will be held live over Zoom and is FREE to USITT members, and costs $10 for non-members. Registration links for each can be found below.

Monday, June 15 — Part 1: Tech Platforms for Online Performance

Webinar description: In part 1 of this series, Jenn and Jason are joined by Jared Mezzocchi and others from their production teams, to discuss how each production used Zoom differently, used add on technologies, and overcame the various abilities of the computers each cast member had access to. These choices drive many of the decisions you make in planning online productions.

Time: 7-8 p.m. EDT

Advanced registration link: Click here

Monday, June 22 — Part 2: Roles and Expectations in Online Performance

Webinar Description: In part 2 of this series, hear Jenn and Jason discuss how each of their companies adapted and morphed traditional roles to the unique challenges and requirements of online production, when Designer, Stage Manager, and Technician all mean different things when you take your show online.

Time: 7-8 p.m. EDT

Advanced registration link: Click here

Monday, June 29 — Part 3: Rehearsal and Performance Processes Online

Webinar Description: Jenn and Jason wrap up the series with a discussion of the impact the move online had on the rehearsal and performance process. From zoom etiquette to helping the performer get some sense of audience engagement, each production learned lessons and adapted in different ways. This session will offer some help as you begin to think about how things work in the online production world.

Time: 7-8 p.m. EDT

Advanced registration link: Click here


Jennifer Schwartz is the Production Manager and Instructor of Stage Management for the School for Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to joining TDPS, Jenn was the General & Production Manager for Imagination Stage in Bethesda, MD, where she was provided the opportunity to spearhead many unique projects. Those projects include the successful planning and execution of an expansion into DC that began with a partnership with The National Theater in 2014, as well as producing and stage managing a tour of Inside Out as part of the 25th ASSITEJ International Summer Festival in South Korea in 2017. Imagination Stage was the first American company to present at the festival, and Jenn was thrilled to be able to represent American Theatre for the Very Young. Previously, Jenn filled the role of production manager at Round House Theatre, also in Bethesda, MD. She started her career as a stage manager, having worked on over 50 productions, and is a proud AEA member.

Jason Wells became the Director of Production of the Fisher Center at Bard in January 2020. Prior to that, he was the Director of Production of American Dance Institute/LUMBERYARD. At ADI/LYD he was instrumental in developing an ambitious technical residency program for contemporary performing artists. During his seven years there, he worked directly with some of the most respected American contemporary choreographers, directors, designers and performers as they created new works for the stage including Yvonne Rainer, David Gordon, Raja Feather Kelly, Sō Percussion, Elevator Repair Service, The Team, Bill T Jones, Urban Bush Women, Susan Marshall, Suzanne Bocanegra, David Neumann and Jodi Melnick. Jason was Head Electrician at the Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theater from 2005-2012 and Master Electrician for the Sarah Lawrence College Theater Department, Barrington Stage, Westport Country Playhouse and Weston Playhouse. A 2001 graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, Jason is also a playwright, performer, and lighting designer. He lives in Catskill, NY with his wife Jacy Barber and their three cats.

Jared Mezzocchi is a multimedia director and designer for theater and received his Masters of Fine Arts through Brooklyn College's Performance and Interactive Media Arts. He was awarded a Princess Grace Award in 2013 as the first projections designer to receive the honor. He has designed productions in New York City with 3-Legged Dog (Downtown Loop, SpyGarbo), Baryshnikov Arts Center (Robert Wilson’s On The Beach), HereArts (You Are Dead. You Are Here.), Builders Association (Jet Lag 2011), Rob Roth (Screen Test), and has toured nationally and internationally with Big Art Group (SOS, The Sleep, The People). Regionally, he has designed for Center Stage (Stones in his Pockets), Cleveland Playhouse (Breath and Imagination), Milwaukee Rep (History of Invulnerability, The Mountaintop), and CompanyONE (Astroboy and The God Of Comics). Locally in DC, he's designed for Woolly Mammoth (Totalitarians, Elaborate Entrance of Chad Diety), Synetic Theater (A Trip to the Moon), Theater J (Race, Yellowface), and Studio (Astroboy and The God Of Comics). As a director, he has spent the last 6 summers directing original work at Andy's Summer Playhouse, located in Wilton NH (Donkey Xote, Dick Tracy, The Lost World, The BFG, The Little Prince, The Block). In 2011, he won Best Original Play at the New Hampshire Theater Awards for his writing and direction in The Lost World. Outside of theater, Jared co-designed with Guilio Cappellini for Design Week in Milan Italy, for Connect4Climate and Alcantara. and this year will design the entrance and immersive experience for a Surf Museum in Montauk, NY. Jared has also taught multimedia design courses at NYU's Playwrights Horizons and Brooklyn College's MFA program in Performance and Interactive Media Arts.