USITT at 50

Sunday, March 28, 2010

2010 marks the 50th Anniversary of the USITT. A very special annual show in Kansas City will celebrate this historic event.

1960 also marked the beginning of the British ABTT. The seeds of both organizations were nurtured at an OISTT colloquium in Berlin in November of that year. My first wife Viki and I attended, meeting Peter Moro, British architect, Strand Electric’s technical head, Fred Bentham, designer Sean Kenny together with Americans, Joel Rubin of Kliegl, Tom deGaetani and Ben Schlanger, theatre consultants. Over a stein of German beer, we all realized that a coming together of like-minded theatre enthusiasts could create opportunities for mutual self-help and networking that could powerfully affect the way our backstage worlds developed.

Both groups returned to their homelands and the USITT and ABTT were born. Today it is hard to imagine how insular and isolated theatre technicians, designers and theatre architects were before the creation of these organizations.

In 2001 I was deeply honored to be elected a Fellow of the Institute.

At this year’s USITT, TP will be represented Gene Leitermann, Andrew Hagan, Benton Delinger, Michael Ferguson, Michael Nishball, Tony Forman and myself.