In Memoriam: Rodney F. Kaiser

March 29, 2021

We are saddened to share the death of USITT Fellow Rodney F. Kaiser. Rodney, 77, of DeWitt, NY passed away peacefully March 27. Rod was born and raised in Rochester, NY; attended Clarkson College and graduated from University of Rochester.

A true behind the scenes entertainment technology professional, Rod was employed by Kliegl Brothers, Inc. in Long Island City, NY, Hoffend and Sons, Inc, in Rochester, NY and retired from J.R. Clancy, Inc. in Syracuse, NY in 2013. An expert in stage rigging fundamentals, mechanics, manufacturing, and operation, Rod generously shared his knowledge with end users, architects and consultants. Rod was very active in the process of standards creation for stage rigging from its inception to ANSI acceptance of the first standard for theatrical counterweight rigging. Rod was active in USITT and was inducted as a Fellow in 2012.

In June 1982 Rod married an associate of an allied business, and he and his son relocated to Syracuse, NY where he worked and his wife’s business is located. Together Rod and his wife Chris enjoyed many happy years sharing their passions for travel, antiquing and technical theatre work.

Rod was predeceased by his parents Ruth and Fred Kaiser and his first wife Susan (DeWitt) Kaiser. Rod is survived by his wife Christine, son Emmet (Alison) of Los Angeles, sister Doris (Frank) DeWitt and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be Wednesday March 31st at 5pm at Fergerson Funeral Home, 215 South Main Street, North Syracuse and live streamed on his tribute page at

Rod and his family invite you to support Behind the Scenes,, a charity founded to provide assistance to entertainment technology professionals in need, to honor Rod’s memory.