Ohio Valley Regional Section Holds Fall Conference

November 12, 2021

The Ohio Valley section held its fall conference at Ohio Northern University on Oct. 9, 2021. As chair of the section, Kathleen DeVault, Head of the ONU International Theatre Production program, was instrumental in bringing the in-person conference to the ONU campus.  This was the section’s first in-person conference since COVID-19 started. It was great to be able to be in the same room with people and not just seeing them on a computer screen. We had 11 sessions with 39 attendees: students, professionals, faculty and teachers on site to enjoy the day. 

Sessions were:

  • “Stronger Together: Pittsburgh Area Theatre Collective” presented by Sean Laidlaw and Katie Trupiano
  • “Editing: Not Just for Writers Anymore” presented by Miriam Patterson
  • “New Works: From Hatching and Idea to Open Night” presented by Brian Westerley and Brandi Eaton
  • “The Best Resources for Stage Managers and How to Find Them” presented by Elynmarie Kazle
  • “Mini Design Challenge” by Sarah Russell
  • “A Little Bit of What YOU Need to Know about OSHA and COVID-19” presented by Dave Glowacki
  • “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Putting in the Work” presented by Elynmarie Kazle, Miriam Patterson and Sarah Russell
  • “Catenate: ONU Automation Lab project” presented by Brian Phillips
  • “Mental Health Resources for the Workplace” presented by Sabrina Hykes-Davis
  • “Outside the Box Creative Internships” presented by Amy Schmitt
  • “Online Teaching; Let’s Reflect” presented by Sarah Russell. 

There was also a roundtable discussion over lunch; “Change for the Better, How more Humane Expectations can make out Creative Process and our Lives Better” moderated by Elynmarie Kazle. 

Attendees were also given a tour of the Ohio Northern University facilities as well as a backstage tour of ONU’s production of Beauty and the Beast. 
OVS also held our annual Ezekiel Awards which showcase technical and design work in the Ohio Valley region. The Ezekiel awards were established in 1985 to honor Peggy Ezekiel one of the four founders of the section. 

Award of Distinction work receiving an average score of 6.5 – 7.9 

  • Nick Bartleson for Anubis Sculpture - Scenic Craft
  • Sierra Shreves for Anon(ymous) - Lighting Design
  • Sarah Russell for A Midsummer Nights Dream - Costume Design

Award of Outstanding Achievement: work receiving an average score of 8.0 or greater

  • Nick Bartleson for Scenic Craft - German Mantel Clock 
  • Ken Clothier and Karen Glass for Hamlet –Online Production
  • Alyssa Embry for Medusa Carving - Scenic Craft
  • Harper Justus for Be Head - Sound Design
  • Islay Reed for Venetian Schiavona - Scenic Craft
  • Kathleen DeVault for The House of Bernada Alba - Lighting Design
  • Caleb Stroman for Trifles - Scenic Design
  • Marley Giggey for Ariadne auf Naxos/ La Rondine - Stage Management
  • Sabrina Hykes-Davis for Starshine! - Scenic Design
  • Caleb Stroman for Trifles- Lighting Design

The ten outstanding achievement award winners were also chosen as the Board Choice Winner’s which is an honor given to the top 10 projects as decided by members of the Ohio Valley Section board. 

Top three students, who win a registration to USITT22 in Baltimore are:

  • Marley Giggey–Graduate University of Cincinnati Conservatory
  • Islay Reed –Graduate Ohio University
  • Harper Justus –Undergraduate Ohio University

View the entries of the winners of the 2021 Peggy Ezekiel Design Expo here!

The Ohio Valley Regional Section of USITT currently serving 143 members residing in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Kentucky. OVS is dedicated to the professional development of those in our area who are an integral part of the performing arts and entertainment industry. OVS advocates for safe, efficient, equitable and ethical practices in the region and supports USITT as it actively promotes and supports research and development today that creates the theatre of the future.