USITT21 to be Virtual Event

October 19, 2020

USITT announced that its 61st Annual Conference & Stage Expo will be presented as an online event in March 2021. The event previously had been scheduled to take place in person in Columbus, Ohio.

While continuing concerns for the health and safety of the Institute’s members and event participants, due to COVID-19, precipitated the move to a digital format, “USITT is committed to not putting on just another online meeting,” according to David Grindle, executive director.

“We are working to take the very best ideas from virtual gatherings and finding new ways to bring the networking, job seeking, and learning that people want, and transform those things into a format that brings the value that folks have come to expect from USITT,” said Grindle. “As a design and technology association, we are looking at this event as being an important step in the evolution of our industry. And we intend to be at the forefront.”

USITT’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to move the Conference online. Even though most theatres and performing arts venues in the U.S. are unlikely to have reopened prior to the Conference, the Board is keenly aware of the impact that keeping the industry engaged in this work will have when productions do resume.

“This event is quite exciting,” continued Grindle. “We actually have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to engage a global audience in deep thinking about our industry, bring even more focused interaction between exhibitors and participants than ever, and educate ourselves about how the industry might function in the future in a new format. We’re also going to have a lot of fun.”

Grindle and Kasey Allee-Foreman, USITT’s vice-president for conferences, will be on hand to field questions about the planning of the event and what participants might expect, in a Facebook livestream on Monday, Oct. 19, at noon EDT.

USITT cancelled its 60th Anniversary Conference & Stage Expo just weeks before it was scheduled in April 2020, days after the global pandemic was declared. The Institute later presented much of that content as webinars, gathering hours of content streamed by thousands of people throughout the world, thus setting the stage for the 61st annual event, which participants can experience from virtually anywhere.

The Institute encourages interested parties to join its Conference mailing list here to ensure they receive up-to-the-minute information about attending this exciting digital event.