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USITT’s 58th Annual Conference & Stage Expo is coming to Fort Lauderdale March 14-17, 2018, and with it, over 5,500 members of the technical production industry and lots of action to the Broward County Convention Center.
USITT 2018 will be the organization’s biggest event of the year and its biggest year yet. It will showcase the world of live entertainment design and technology with exhibitors of the latest technology for creating live shows, plus over 250 presentations, demonstrations, and celebrations of work by top artists in the field.
This is the first time that USITT has produced an event of this size. The show’s direct economic spend is estimated at $7 million, with attendees filling 10 hotels in the Fort Lauderdale area and patronizing local arts venues, attractions, and dining establishments.
Keynote Presenter Joseph Haj is the Director of the Guthrie Theater. He has directed and performed in theaters throughout the United States including the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the New York Public Theater, the Alley, the Mark Taper Forum, the Ahmanson, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Folger and many others. Named by American Theatre magazine as one of 25 theater artists who will have a significant impact on the field over the next quarter century, Haj is a visionary leader at one of the nation’s top regional theaters.
USITT Stage Expo opens with fanfare at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 15. Thousands of people gather to swarm the booths of over 300 plus exhibitors as soon as the doors open to a huge display of theater technology.
Stage Expo runs 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, March 15-16, and 9:30 a.m.- 2 p.m., Saturday, March 17.
Backstage Stars: A Friday morning panel entitled Distinguished Award Winners in Conversation will include industry experts Anne Valentino, John Iacovelli, and Steve Canyon Kennedy for a lively exchange about their lives and career experiences.
USITT’s Gateway program is bringing 12 students from underrepresented populations in entertainment production to the Conference and pairing them with mentors to enhance their experience and boost their careers.
USITT also offers several sessions on diversity and accessibility in the arts, as well as sessions tailored to production technology for worship services, and “green” production, among other trending issues.
USITT will feature companies, educational sessions, and activities involved in the local tourism industry including Disney Parks Live Entertainment, Princess Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, and Carnival Cruise Lines.