First active in USITT?
My first activity with USITT was by way of the Midwest Section under the mentorship of Gary Gaiser. Dr. Gaiser was the consultant on a new theatre built at Wabash College and opened in 1968. A recent alum I was hired to be the first technical director. Working on contractor punch lists with him he quickly realized I could use mentoring and encouraged me to participate in Midwest Section activities; sometimes at Bloomington, IN sometimes Lafayette IN, sometimes Chicago, and sometimes at Urbana IL where I met the core leadership of the Section and, as I later learned, core members of USITT as well. I later attended Indiana University to study lighting design and arts management and Dr. Gaiser was my advisor.
Does anything stand out as your favorite USITT memory?
1968-2021 fifty-three years, so MANY memories it is very difficult to identify a favorite. However, Saturday of the 1989 Calgary Conference when we boarded busses for a day trip to Lake Louise and dinner at the Banff Canadian Pacific Hotel - absolutely gorgeous! (We paid the next day though as we tried to fly out of Calgary and return to our midwestern homes – snowstorms and airports closed.) I recall other times at end of conference trying to return home from western conferences through Denver!
Some career highlights:
- Serving as Conference Chair of 1990 USITT Annual Conference and Stage Expo in Milwaukee,
- Hosting five KCACTF festivals in Milwaukee, awarded KCACTF Gold Medallion January 2019
- River tour traveling from Moscow to St. Petersburg, to Stockholm. Saw performances of The Snow Maiden at the Bolshoi and The Sicilian Vespers at the Marinski Theatre. We had a personal tour of the Drottningholm Court Theatre outside of Stockholm in June of 2017
- Eastern Mediterranean cruise visiting Athens, Delos, Amalfi Coast and Istanbul in October 2019
USITT involvement/positions held:
- Chair, Midwest Section United States Institute for Theatre Technology, May 1988 - July 1994
- Chair, USITT National Conference and Stage Expo. Responsible for annual conference that brought national and international professionals in the area of production design and technology to Milwaukee for five days of workshops and seminars, April 1990.
- Member of the Finance Committee for the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, December 1994 - August 1996.
- Program Chair, Midwest Section United States Institute for Theatre Technology, August 1994 - July 1995
- Chair of the Conference Policy Committee for the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, August 1993 - August 1995.
- Chair of the Membership Committee for the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, August 1990 - July 1993
- Vice President for Sections and Chapters and Member of Executive Board of United States Institute for Theatre Technology, August 1996 - June 2005
- Local Programming Chair for the Annual Conference and Stage Expo of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, March 2013
Are there memorable USITT characters who have made a difference to you?
Gary Gaiser, Bernhard Works, Richard Arnold, Christine Kaiser, Patricia Mackay
About being a Fellow?
I was elected back in the day when new Fellows were surprised at the awards ceremony and had no clue that I had been selected. It was a total surprise, one to call home about. It made that Denver Conference, March of 2000, particularly memorable.
USITT and your career?
TLP article TD&T, Use of Steel Building to House Rebuilt Timber Lake Playhouse , contributor to first USITT Tenure and Promotion Guidelines