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Cody Renard Richard Keynote Speaker for The National Collaborators Conference, Oct. 9 – 11, 2020

Stage Directions • Industry NewsTheatre Buzz • October 1, 2020

The Stage Managers’ Association (SMA) and Ohio Valley USITT (OVS) are pleased to announce that the Special Keynote speaker for the National Collaborators Conference is advocate, educator, and professional Stage Manager Cody Renard Richard. He is joining the conference to speak about collaboration and the future of theatre. His keynote speech will be on October 10, 2020 at 10:00 am. EDT. Richard’s career spans many genres including Broadway, Television, Cirque du Soleil, and Opera. As an advocate for change and equity, Richard has appeared live on CNN and has been interviewed on WNBC. He was also recently named one of Variety magazine’s 2020 Broadway Players to Watch and has just launched The Cody Renard Richard Scholarship Program in partnership with Broadway Advocacy Coalition. Here’s a video overview for The Cody Renard Richard Scholarship Program:

The National Collaborators Conference to take place on October 9 – 11, 2020 “virtually” at Playhouse Square in Cleveland, OH. This will be a first-time international gathering of the Stage Management and Entertainment Design community. They are pleased to partner with The Collaborator Party, The Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers (TSDCA), and Playhouse Square, Cleveland in this unique, entertainment-based, conference which will be produced by Broadway Unlocked.

This national (and international) gathering will include will feature sessions on Stage Management, Design and Technical Collaboration, along with the Annual Peggy Ezekiel Adjudicated Design and Tech Showcase. The conference will feature over 25 unique workshop sessions, virtual tours of Playhouse Square, and a showcase of stage management paperwork.


  • Sports Events Management, featuring representatives from the Cleveland Indians, the Vegas Golden Knights, the San Francisco 49ers, and more (Sponsored by TheatreArtLife)
  • Intimacy Choreography: Best practices for the entire production team
  • Designing in Translation, taking your design work across the world
  • Sound Design, artist or engineer (sponsor TSDCA)
  • The Behind the Scenes Magic of Weddings in India
  • Traditional Indigenous Ceremonies in the US and Abroad
  • The Annual Peggy Ezekiel Adjudicated Design Exhibit
  • Managing the Democratic National Conference Online
  • Stage Management Paperwork throughout the ages, a historical showcase
  • Virtual Tour of Playhouse Square, the largest performing arts district outside of NYC
  • Discovering unconventional jobs in which you can utilize your performing arts skills to earn income
  • Spark your Creativity, a two-part series of design charettes in lighting, scenic, costumes, and more. Introductory sessions on Friday, Sharing sessions on Sunday.

Understanding the difficult financial times for our worldwide industry, Registration is only $50 (USD) for individual attendees with discounts for SMA, TLA, and OVS members. Special group rates for educational institutions are also available on the registration site.

Register Here

Exhibitors who are interested in sponsoring or purchasing a space in our virtual exhibit hall please contact Mandalyn Stevens, Exhibit Manager, by using the links below:

About Stage Managers’ Association
In its 39th year, the Stage Managers’ Association is a pivotal resource for stage managers nationwide in all areas of live performance. With a growing national membership and international cohort of world-wide ambassadors, the SMA promotes networking opportunities through its many initiatives such as Operation Observation ©, job services and mentoring. SMA promotes best practices through Ask A Stage Manager ©, as well as with webinars and symposia exploring regional, national and international stage management education. SMA membership includes top Broadway, Off Broadway, Corporate, Regional, Dance, and Opera stage managers as well as students and those just beginning their careers. The Stage Managers’ Association strives for equity, fairness, diversity, and inclusion. As stage managers we are discreet in our dealings with Productions, Producers and employers. We respect and value diverse life experiences and heritages, and advocate for equitable treatment of our members, and support members who nurture diversity and equity in their places of work and in their broader communities. Further information from the Stage Managers’ Association:

About Ohio Valley USITT
Ohio Valley Section (OVS) is the regional division of USITT, the United States Institute of Theatre Technology, which is a national association for Design, Production, and Technology Professionals in the Performing Arts and Entertainment Industry. Through regional conferences, exhibitions, and awards, the Ohio Valley Regional Section is dedicated to the professional development of those in our area who are an integral part of the performing arts and entertainment industry in our region. OVS advocates for safe, efficient, equitable and ethical practices and supports USITT as it actively promotes and supports research and development today that creates the theatre of the future.

NCC Supporting Partners:

The Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association (TSDCA) is a professional membership organization of sound designers and composers for the performing arts working in the United States. Through advocacy, ongoing education, mentorship, and outreach, we seek to advance our community and promote sound design and composition as vital artistic components of the collaborative art of live theatre. TSDCA is not a union or collective bargaining unit, but, will provide a forum for sound designers and composers to exchange ideas and engage in activities that will strengthen our field and reinforce our standing as artists in the theatre community. TSDCA:

About The Collaborator Party
Born out of frustration with the elimination of the Tony Award for sound design, the idea of The Collaborator Party began as a single event for those unheralded theatre artists to have a place to celebrate themselves on Tony night. Due to incredible enthusiasm and a grassroots movement of theatre professionals, The Collaborator Party grew almost immediately into an annual event that spans multiple cities across the US. All theatre makers are welcome, and no admission is charged. Today, The Collaborator Party is one of the largest non-awards events for theatre professionals in America and continues to highlight and celebrate those special people who make theatre possible through the commitment to their craft and their ability to collaborate as a team.

About Playhouse Square
One of Northeast Ohio’s brightest cultural gems, Playhouse Square is where memories are made, dreams are encouraged, and excitement never stops. Entertainment is at the heart of what we do, but we are more than the largest performing arts center in the nation outside of New York. Through visionary leadership, Playhouse Square has become the steward of its vibrant downtown district. Playhouse Square is proud to be one of Broadway’s premier touring partners, made possible by the region’s enthusiastic Broadway audiences – the largest base of season tickets holders in the country, skilled labor force, knowledgeable and hard-working staff, dedicated volunteers and beautiful venues. A champion of arts education and downtown Cleveland, and delighted to be the home of resident companies: Cleveland Ballet, Cleveland Play House, Cleveland State University Department of Theatre and Dance, DANCECleveland, Great Lakes Theater and Tri-C JazzFest.

Also, many thanks for the additional support from Theatre Art Life, the Broadway Stage Management Symposium, and Virtual Callboard/Empty Space.

Event & Exhibitor Questions
Elynmarie Kazle, Chair
National Collaborators Conference
Chair, Stage Managers’ Association
Vice Chair, Special Projects Ohio Valley USITT



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