Hello! My name is Braeden Ingersoll and I’m a Junior Theatre major at Simpson College. With the help of my advisors, departmental faculty, and the administration and research committees at Simpson, I was able to present my projections design at the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) conference in St. Louis, Missouri. Everything about the conference was incredible, informative, and awe-inspiring for a young professional in my field.
A little about the USITT conference: Each year, theatre technicians from around the world attend the USITT conference to share their work, learn or teach new skills, and meet new professionals in their field. Of the multiple facets of theatre, USITT is geared for lighting, sound, sets, costumes, makeup, technical direction, and education! The conference lasts for 5 days which are jammed full with events! Each morning we got to listen to a keynote speaker who made us feel like we could conquer the world. Throughout the day there were typically lecture-based panels on various topics in theatre technology. Personally, I attended panels over the following topics:
- Fundamental building techniques of windows, doors, and arches
- Escape Room Design
- Life after Undergrad
- Greener model building for set design
- Scenic Painting for TV & Film
- Spreadsheets & Databases for Technical Direction
All of these panels left me with new tips and tricks or entirely new skills that I got to learn in a very unique environment. I was also able to use some of the free time available to check out the expo floor and visit with graduate schools and find out what information I could.
Finally, my presentation for the conference was my Projections design for Theatre Simpson’s 2016 fall production of These Shining Lives. I presented my design work to a room of approximately 40 people and shared with them what my objectives were, obstacles I faced, and how I overcame those obstacles. After all eight presenters were finished, the floor was open for questions from the audience as they could walk around the room and meet with us individually if they liked. Four jurors were amongst the audience members and asked us questions about our designs to test out understanding of the trials and the technology we used.