David Will

David Will

Your earliest memories of the institute?

I had the pleasure to be part of a team of students representing Penn State in a Master Class hosted by USITT featuring Helmut Grosser in February of 1973.  It was held at Carnegie Mellon (Tech) in Pittsburgh.  We spent a day in the classroom with along with teams from several other Universities.  This was my first involvement with the Institute.

Your favorite USITT memory?

I can’t think of any one specific memory that outshines another great memory.  I always made the most out of each Annual Conference and Stage Expo.   To say one was better than the other, well, maybe, there was one conference in Wichita ….hmmmmm.

Career highlights:

  • Production Manager, Operation Manager, General Manager of Penn State’s Center for the Performing Arts for 26 years.  Staged over 350 performances annually. 
  • Served as a lighting designer for campus resident dance company and staged many large special events around the campus.
  • Facility Coordinator and Safety Officer for the College of Arts and Architecture at Penn State for 24 years.  The college consisted of 7 departments, performing art center and an art museum.
  • While doing both jobs for 10 years, my work included serving 18 college facilities in the design, performing, and visual arts.  A great amount of time was spent in the programming and planning of facility upgrades and new buildings including the first LEED Gold rated building on a college campus.  


USITT involvement/positions held:

  • Vice-President for Conferences (2009 – 2014)
  • Board Member-at-Large (2003-2006)
  • Member, Annual Conference and Stage Expo Committee (1995 – present)
  • Commissioner, Management Commission (1996 - 2002)
  • Vice-Commissioner for Theater and Production Management (1993- 1995)
  • Conference Chair, Annual Conference - Pittsburgh (1997)


Memorable USITT characters who have made a difference to you?

Walt Walters, William H. Allison, Will Bellman, Sam Scripps, Jack Schmidt, Dick Durst, Rick Stephenson, and Frank Willard.


Being a fellow means?

It is very humbling to have been selected as a Fellow of the Institute.  I am honored to be among this body of members of the Institute.


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

USITT played a very important role in my career.  The networking and interaction with friends and colleagues throughout the years was invaluable to me.  There was always someone to turn to ask a question, find an answer and of course, have a beer with!


Books that you recommend about the field:

As many as you can read