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Comic-Con for Technical Theater

By Jordan Breise ’21
During spring break 2019, La Jolla Country Day School students explored their passions and expanded their minds. Jordan Breise ’21 shares her experience at a technical theater conference.
My name is Jordan, and I am a sophomore taking technical theater. During spring break, I went to Kentucky to attend the United States Institute for Theatrical Technology (USITT) Conference in Louisville. How I describe USITT is Comic-Con for tech theater. At USITT there are two main attractions. The first one is filled with various panels. You can attend anything from costume design from a drag queen to intro to welding. I attended both of these. The second is the stage expo. The stage expo is a huge conference floor covered with booths from companies, schools and theaters. The floor is sectioned off into different parts of tech theater. There are areas for costume design, special effects lighting, sound and colleges. I spent most of my time in the costume design or special effects areas.
USITT was a great experience because I really got to see what the industry looks like. The panels were super interesting, and I learned a lot. I think that the panel I took the most away from was a panel on failure. They talked about how failure needs to be faced and not sugar-coated, in life and in tech theater. While the talk was mostly focused on teachers, I learned some valuable things about failure and how to handle it. I also learned a lot about costume design at USITT. Because we don’t have a costume design class at LJCDS, it was cool to see how it all worked. Overall, USITT was a real eye-opening experience about the professional world of tech theater.

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