As the new president of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT), Professor Mark Shanda led his first national convention in Salt Lake City this past week. With thousands of visitors, the convention and expo was the largest in the organization's history.
USITT is an internationally recognized organization that sponsors the growth, education, and communication between theatrical designers, theatre educators, working technicians, and young artists. While there are many facets of the organization that run continuously throughout the year, USITT's annual conference is a focal point for their activities. Throughout the week, there were hundreds of workshops, presentations, juried design and technical displays, and interview opportunities for independent designers and technicians. The conference also included trips and backstage tours to local theatres and design exhibits, professional development workshops for educators, a portfolio review service for students, and opportunities to explore international designers and training programs.
There were also dozens of Ohio State students, faculty, staff and alumni in Salt Lake City last week who not only enjoyed the benefits of the conference but also got to see their own Mark Shanda at the helm.