Teams of elite technicians from across the country gathered to show off their toolbox of skills during the famed USITT Tech Olympics at this year’s Conference in Fort Lauderdale. Knowledge and execution was tested during a myriad of events where skill, ability, and teamwork was displayed at the forefront.

For the first time ever, the competition took to the outdoor stage, presented by Stageline Mobile Stages Inc. — turning each event into a true starlit spectacle. Teams faced off against their peers to win both individual and team prizes provided by generous donors. The most coveted prize? The acclaimed Tech Olympics Trophy.

The gleaming trophy wasn’t the only focal point of the night as Cirque du Soleil Stage Manager and official Tech Olympics Emcee John Gruber bounced around from team to team sporting cat headphones and some slick shades. Fun was had by all thanks to the coordinators, time keepers, judges, scorers, donors, and sponsor Princess Cruises. We’ll see you next year for another round of friendly competition!

2018 Tech Olympics Winner Breakdown

Moving Light

  • Daniel Johnson-Carter “Greene Beans” First Place
  • Olivia Doniphan “Goin’ Dark” Second Place
  • Brian Staton “FUSITT” Third Place

Stage Management (Plenty of ties here!)

  • Bridget Catania “FUSITT” First Place
  • Noah Scott “FUSITT” First Place
  • Mikayla Carr “Conn Artists” Second Place
  • Danielle Verkennes “Conn Artists” Second Place
  • Darian Clogston “Greene Beans” Second Place
  • Mitchell Girgasky “Greene Beans” Second Place
  • Abigail Bueti “Not to Scale” Second Place
  • Kat Karl “Not to Scale” Second Place
  • Hayden Fisher “DSA Team 1” Third Place
  • Stephanie Higgins “DSA Team 1” Third Place
  • Matt Lang “FUSITT” Third Place
  • Brian Staton “FUSITT” Third Place
  • Kelly Lemos “Goin’ Dark” Third Place
  • Adia Matousek “Goin’ Dark” Third Place


  • Rob Byerly “Goin’ Dark” First Place
  • John Russell “BW Blackouts” Second Place
  • Marcus Geise “Mountaineers” Third Place

Knot Tying

  • Brian Staton “FUSITT” First Place
  • Daniel Johnson-Carter “Greene Beans” Second Place
  • Mitchell Girgasky “Greene Beans” Third Place

Props Setup

  • Liza Marie Hackman “Goin’ Dark” First Place
  • Rob Byerly “Goin’ Dark” Second Place
  • Kat Karl “Not to Scale” Third Place

Lighting Focus

  • Olivia Doniphan “Goin’ Dark” First Place
  • Rhen Serber “Goin’ Dark” First Place
  • Erin Feil “FUSITT” Second Place
  • Brian Staton “FUSITT” Second Place
  • Danielle Verkennes “Conn Artists” Third Place
  • Allison Zerio “Conn Artists” Third Place


  • Mikayla O’Neill “Mountaineers” First Place
  • Ariana Hatch “The Orphans” Second Place
  • Mikayla Carr “Conn Artists” Third Place

Top Technician

  • Brian Staton “FUSITT” First Place
  • Olivia Doniphan “Goin’ Dark” Second Place
  • Rob Byerly “Goin’ Dark” Third Place

Best Performing Team

  • “Goin’ Dark” University of North Carolina School of the Arts First Place
  • “FUSITT” SUNY Fredonia Second Place
  • “Conn Artists” University of Connecticut Third Place

Thank you to the donors of this year’s prizes:

InterAmerica Stage, Gerriets, H&H Specialties, ETC, Drafty Pro, Meyer Sound, BellaTEX, Goddard Design Co., AC Lighting, Show Sage, Norcostco, Costume Inventory Resources, Rational Acoustics, Rosco, Rock Exotica, Carnival Cruises, Yamaha, Atomic Design, ColorTest Fabrics, Jo-Ann +, Frends Beauty Supply, Princess Cruise Lines, Ben Nye Makeup, ZFX, Creative Conners, Kryolan Professional Makeup, Gig Gear, GLP, Full Compass, Sapsis Rigging Inc., BMI Supply, SteelDeck Inc., Green Hippo, Limelight Productions Inc., Wonderflex World, Doug Fleener, Clearwing Productions, Alcone Company, ChamSys, Focal Press, SkyDeck, ARRI, Bernina, Enttec, Wenger & JR Clancy, Wireless Mic Belts, Stage Junk, Sight and Sound Theatres, Shure, and Production Advantage Inc.