USITT Webinars

USITT is offering up three new webinars this spring! These webinars will make your transition into Conference-mode even smoother by providing Conference-centric information so that you can hit your sessions and the show floor with a healthy amount of preparation and education.

Conference guides, portfolio tips, and making the most out of your time at Conference are all things we would love to master, and now that expertise is in reach! Let your webinar hosts guide you through everything Conference so that you can leave Houston refreshed, connected, and ready to take on the job interviews and networking opportunities you're sure to secure at USITT 2020!

A Teacher's Guide to Conference

Deb Sherrer, Erin Joy Swank, Trish Hausmann

January 27, 2020

7 p.m. - 8 p.m. EST

What opportunities exist for students and teachers at Conference? Should I tell my students to bring anything? How do I help my students navigate this huge event? With a focus on helping teachers help their students, as well as themselves, we'll go over the ins and outs of navigating Conference from a teacher's perspective.

Learning Objectives:

  • Teachers will gain a greater understanding of analyzing the options available at Conference through review of the Conference website.
  • Teachers will gain a greater understanding of non-lecture style opportunities available to attendees such as the First Timers Reception, Portfolio Reviews, and Curriculum Reviews.
  • Teachers will gain a better understanding of how to oversee the logistics of bringing a large group of students to Conference, including information about Connections Housing.
  • Teachers will gain a better understanding of how to navigate the Institute's structure including Commissions, Committees, Sections, and Chapters.

Resumes, Portfolios, and Networking

This webinar is part of our business of the business series geared to assist freelance theatre technicians as they embark on the world of business management. The cost of this webinar is $5.

Deb Sherrer, Erin Joy Swank, TBA

February 17, 2020

7 p.m. - 8 p.m. EST

What if you could get a jump on updating your materials BEFORE Conference? This session will discuss the ins and outs of resumes, portfolios, and networking, with a focus on what to prepare for Conference, as well as available resources once in Houston and beyond.

Learning Objectives:

  • Gain a greater understanding of best practices in resumes, portfolios, and websites.
  • Gain a better understanding of what is available at Conference including the Resume Doctors' Booth and Portfolio Reviews & Interview Materials Prep.
  • Gain a better understanding of informal and formal networking opportunities and how to navigate them successfully.
  • Gain a better understanding of navigating interviews on the Expo Floor.

How to get the most out of Conference

Deb Sherrer, Erin Joy Swank, TBA

March 23, 2020

7 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Whether you've attended a dozen times, or this is your first trip, Conference can feel like it's bigger than you can handle. This session will help attendees and potential attendees understand the opportunities available to them, what's new this year, and how to get the most out of networking opportunities while in Houston.

Learning Objectives:

  • Gain an understanding of how to navigate Conference, including how to understand the Conference website/book.
  • Gain a better understanding of opportunities specifically for first-time attendees.
  • Gain a better understanding of how Conference has changed over the last few years, including newer offerings, such as Stage Expo educational offerings.
  • Gain a better understanding of how to navigate the Institute's structure including Commissions, Committees, Sections, and Chapters.
  • Gain a better understanding of how to get more involved with USITT through Conference attendance.

Meet your Webinar Hosts

Deb Sherrer is the General Manager for the Weston Playhouse Theatre Company in Weston, VT. After a decade as a professional stage manager, she refocused her career into arts management. With an emphasis on helping arts organizations effectively implement new technology and on increasing financial accountability standards, she has worked as the Director of Finance and HR at Charleston Stage Company and the Business Manager at Emerald City Theatre. She is currently a Director at Large for the USITT where she serves as the Chair of the Board Mentorship Committee, Chair of the Audit Committee, and Co-Chair of the Membership Committee. Deb holds a Master of Arts Management from Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College of Public Policy and Management and a BFA in Theatre with a concentration in stage management from Point Park University.

Erin Joy Swank is a Denver-based stage manager who enjoys working in multiple genres, including musical theatre, opera, dance, plays, cirque and events. She also has guest lectured for numerous colleges around the country, both in person and by video chat, and has been a Stage Management Respondent for KCACTF Region IV. Recent credits include Cirque Dreams, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Tuacahn Center for the Arts, Nevada Ballet (Las Vegas), and numerous opera companies including Boston Lyric. For USITT, Erin is the Vice Commissioner in Management for Portfolio Reviews & Interview Materials Prep (PRIMP) & Special Projects, has mentored for both SMMP and Gateway, and hails from the Rocky Mountain USITT region. She invites you to join the Stage Managers' Association, USITT, Actors' Equity, and other organizations in celebrating 2020 as the Year of the Stage Manager (#YSM2020).

Trish Hausmann is the Production Manager for the Indiana University Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance. She teaches Entertainment Management for IU, which focuses on Las Vegas entertainment, cruise ships, and theme parks. She is also a stage manager for new musicals such as SolanaJoe Schmoe Saves the WorldStardust Road, and Sticks & Stones. Trish is the faculty sponsor for the IU Student Chapter of USITT, and is the Vice Commissioner for Arts Management in the Management Commission.

OSHA in Your Theatre?

Presenters: Eddie Raymond, Joe Aldridge

Monday, March 16, 8 p.m. - 9 p.m. EST

Member Price: $25 | Non-Member Price $40

Are you no longer allowed to use your stage without a railing “at all times”?

Are you no longer able to build escape stairs and paint them black because they are a “hazard”?

Have you been told the Fire Curtain must be lowered at all times when the theatre is not in use?

Do you know better but just can’t produce the documentation to prove to your school officials you’re in compliance? Or, do you need to hone your OSHA & ANSI knowledge to keep you, your students, your staff, and your guests, safe?

Join USITT in a conversation with OSHA Authorized Trainers & ANSI experts who take you through the OSHA codes and ANSI standards that apply to you and your space and let you know where you can locate this information for future needs.

Anyone who oversees or works in a venue should sit in on this webinar and you may just want to invite your colleagues, administration, or even janitorial staff if they are the only ones deemed “qualified” enough to do some of the work.

The specific topics in this conversation plus Q&A, you will not want to miss, will include:

  • ANSI Standards
  • Manually Operated Counterweight system
  • Fire Curtains
  • Slipperiness of Stages
  • Inspections and use logs
  • Fall Protection
    • Written Plan
    • 4-foot falls must be protected
    • Fronts of stages exempted (Though they recommend safety nets)
  • Fixed Ladders
    • Portable Ladders
    • Catwalks and ladder entrances
  • Personnel Lifts
    • Manufacturer's recommend use/best practice
  • Electrical
    • General Electrical Safety
  • Egress
    • Clear Paths of egress
    • Communication
    • Posting
    • Training