Go International at USITT 2018

by Kathy Eddy

USITT want to help you expand your network and your understanding of the industry beyond the U.S. USITT exudes an East meets West vibe by highlighting international members, programs, and awards. Open your mind, experience different design aesthetics, and learn new ways of approaching problems from our friends across the pond and beyond. USITT 2018 has numerous activities and sessions which allow members to collaborate and network with those who have a different design aesthetic and process and location-specific standards.

Connect one-on-one with major conservatories during sessions and at Stage Expo. Get information on their programs, schooling, and how studying overseas can play an integral role in your education and training.

Have questions about Prague Quadrennial 2019? Get them answered while you interact with the PQ curators and learn how you can get involved in the design of the next PQ exhibit.

Also don’t forget about the 2018 Student Ambassador Mentors joining USITT 2018. Agata Skwarczynska, a visionary scenographer from Poland; Qin Wenbao, a teacher in the Stage Design Department of the National University of Chinese Theatre Arts; and Carolina Jimenez Flores, a performance designer, author, and choreographer/director from Mexico.

Here is just a sampling of the international events and sessions taking place at USITT 2018 in Fort Lauderdale. All activities listed below are open to all members attending the Conference.

Wednesday, March 14 –
Estonian Theatre Practices with the Rakvere Theatre
On Estonia's 100th anniversary, learn about the differences in production between the U.S. and Estonia via Ohio Northern University's unique relationship with the Rakvere Theatre. Since 2011, ONU has partnered with this Estonian theatre, sharing personnel, technical support, and tour support. This session describes the relationship and offers advice for institutions looking to develop international partners.
Speakers: Erni Kask, Kathleen DeVault, Kristo Kruusman

International Committee Meeting
A working meeting for all International Committee members. Recent and future Conference activities as well as OISTAT events and meetings will be discussed. This meeting is open to all interested USITT members.
Speakers: Kevin Rigdon, Loren Schreiber, Rob Eastman-Mullins

Thursday, March 15 –
World Stage Design Winner: Agata SkwarczyƄska
2008 Winner of the World Stage Design 2017 Gold Medal in Performance Design, Polish scenographer Agata SkwarczyƄska presents and discusses her work. Agata Skwarczynska is a visionary scenographer from Poland. She received the Gold Medal for Performance Design for The Leper: a Melodrama at the WSD2017 in Taipei and co-curated the Polish exhibition for PQ 2011. Learn more about Skwarczynska here.

The Pedagogy of Modern Scenography Training 
This OISTAT Education Commission session examines international training practices for designers of all walks.
Speaker: William Kenyon

Friday, March 16 –
World Stage Design Winner: Wen Bao Qin
Winner of the World Stage Design 2017 Gold Medal in Costume Design, Chinese designer Wen Bao Qin presents and discusses his work. Qin Wenbao, a teacher in the Stage Design Department of the National University of Chinese Theatre Arts, was awarded the Gold Medal for costume design at the WSD 2017 for his imaginative Chinese opera costumes replicating the effect of Chinese ink painting. Learn more about Qin Wenbao here.

World Happenings — OISTAT and Other International Activities 
You — yes YOU — are a member of OISTAT, the International Organization of Scenographers, Theatre Architects, and Technicians. Join this session to learn about the recent and future activities, meetings, and general goings-on with this international theatre organization of which you are also a member.
Speakers: Carl Walling, Hideaki Tsutsui, Joe Pino, Rob Eastman-Mullins, Sabrina Notarfrancisco

Improving the Wheel: Technology Innovation Prize Award Winners 
Winners of OISTAT's Technical Innovation Prize (TIP) present and discuss their inventions.

Saturday, March 17 –
International Travel Grant Winner — Ian Garrett
Recipients of the USITT International Travel Grant present the results of their funded research.
Speakers: Andrew DG Hunt, Ian Garrett, Kevin Rigdon