A Year of Connections

by Michael Eddy
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Welcome to the December issue of Stage Directions magazine; the last issue in our 30th Anniversary year. I would like to thank all of you, our readers, as well as all the theater artisans who shared their time, their experiences, and their knowledge about working in the theater. It’s been another wonderful year of covering all things theater from the technical and design perspective. It is a true pleasure to be able to highlight all the wonderful work going on across this country and around the world. We all may have come to theater in our own way and for our own reasons but creating worlds in which to tell stories is a powerful draw and unites us all. 

In this past year, I am particularly proud that we at Stage Directions have spent a lot of time working with various theater associations—building stronger ties, attending conventions, meetings, and seminars, listening, learning and contributing to the conversation. USITT, URTA, SETC, IOT, KC/ACTF, and others all share a passion for theater and their work makes for a stronger industry. I personally have been involved with many of these organizations since my college days; my college went to the KC/ACTF Regionals all four years and twice to Washington, D.C. with productions. My first professional summer job after college—electrician at The Lost Colony in North Carolina (an IOT theater) came from interviewing at an SETC Conference. I’ve been involved with USITT since the 25th Annual Conference in 1985 in NYC. All of these associations and organizations were steps along my path that have helped shape my career in theater and today are great resources for theater professionals and students.

So, in 2018, there were a lot of opportunities to gather with others to discuss where theater design, production techniques, and technology has been, where it’s at currently, and what the future holds. We had grest conversations at the 2018 USITT Conference in Fort Lauderdale, where we hosted the Stage Directions Studio on the floor in partnership with USITT. We were fortunate to be able to capture interviews with many USITT attendees from all the production disciplines over the three days of the show. We extend our thanks to everyone at USITT for their assistance and to all the theater artisans who stopped by and spoke with us. We look forward to continuing the conversations at USITT 2019.

This fall, we attended, and were honored to present a session, at the SETC/Institute of Outdoor Theatre conference. It was great to talk with the various attendees about their theaters, about what worked—and didn’t work—with their recent seasons. The IOT attendees showed their passion for theater; to make theater happen on all budgetary levels in sometimes less than ideal conditions. It was a great reminder of the indomitable spirit and creativity of theater artisans.

In 2019 at Stage Directions, we look forward to continuing to expand our work with these associations as well as sharing the work of the people who make theater, everywhere they make it. Until next year…